The class action gender lawsuit against Chadbourne & Parke could become the analogue of Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment litigation against former Fox head Roger Ailes.
That, is, it could change the way the legal sector treats gender matters just that way Carlson’s did in broadcast media.
Currently, Fox News’ commentator Bill O’Reilly’s job security is also in play because of alleged sexual harassment. He could wind up also being forced out the way Ailes had been.
Now, Chadbourne & Parke might start thinking about settlement, the way 21st Century Fox did with Carlson. That’s because formidable legal mind and former judge Kevin Sharp has joined the law firm representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. That’s Sanford Heisler, renamed Sanford Heisler Sharp.
As the New York Law Journal reports, Sharp will participate in the representation. Already that law firm is known as the one to have on your side in an employment lawsuit.
Chadbourne & Parke, to be renamed Norton Rose Fulbright, has been aggressive in taking on the original plaintiff in the lawsuit. That’s Kerrie Campbell. Most recently, it sought to oust her from the firm. In a sense, its moves have seemed almost cartoonish. One envisions a bunch of powerful middle aged white men plotting against a handful of underdog females.
At Abovethelaw.com, lawyer-journalist Kathryn Rubino has been following this saga. Here is one of her myriad posts. Rubino specifically and ATL more generally crusade for underdog causes.
BloodinwaterIf the plaintiffs win a hefty settlement like Carlson did or a stunning damages verdict in court, law firms will probably call in consultants to help them eliminate sexism in employment policies. They will have to. Members of the media will smell blood in the water.
The legal sector, like much of tech, is notorious for seeming indifference to the complaints of females. It was former Uber employee Susan Fowler who might have created the tipping point in reform in tech. Campbell, along with Sanford Heisler Sharp, might play that same role in the field of law.