Labor & Employment

Admitted Dates, IMs & Defendant Lawyer's Depo of Plaintiff Paralegal Now Issues in Trial

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Years ago, when attorney Thomas Ostly was still on good terms with his paralegal, he joked with her in an instant message that he was going to be careful not to give her “any evidence for the inevitable lawsuit.”

But there appears to no dearth of material for the now ex-employee, Allison Moreno, to rely on in the sexual harassment case that is proceeding in Alameda County Superior Court against Ostly and his former law firm, Ostly Murphy & Vu, according to the Recorder.

In addition to what the article describes as “reams” of text messages and online chats between the two, Ostly, 38, put himself in an awkward position for no good reason by participating, both directly and indirectly, in a pretrial deposition of Moreno, says an outside expert who is not involved in the case.

Deposing the plaintiff in a sexual harassment case “undermines any perception that the accused attorney was wrongly accused or that the underlying claims were weak,” Mary Shea Hagebols tells the legal publication.”It will appear to the jury that the accused attorney is being malicious, vindictive, engaging in a form of intimidation and continuing the harassment.”

Moreno, 30, contends that Ostly fired her when she refused to continue their sexual relationship. He admits that they dated but says he never fired her, only sent her home one day when she became belligerent after he reprimanded her over a serious error, the Recorder reports.

Hat tip: New York Lawyer.

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