Posts Tagged ‘sexual harassment’

Beyond the “Bad” Boss

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Several discussions here, a section of The Empowered Paralegal: Effective, Efficient and Professional and an article I wrote for KNOW: The Magazine for Paralegals have dealt with handling difficult and unethical bosses. Here are the essentials of a story about a boss that goes beyond bad from The Salt Lake Tribune withe the headline “Attorney pleads not guilty to stalking his paralegal, shooting at her condo:”

A Salt Lake-area criminal defense attorney charged with stalking his female paralegal and firing shots at her Cottonwood Heights condominium last year waived his right on Thursday to a preliminary hearing…

On June 2, windows were shot out at a condo rented by the 29-year-old woman, who worked for Stone at the Midvale law firm Stone & Law. No one was home at the time.

Soon after, the woman was telling co-workers about the shooting when Stone, her boss, admitted to firing the shots, according to charging documents.

While reporting Stone’s comment to police, the woman also reported that Stone had been stalking her — both before and after the shooting — via phone calls and text messages, charges state.

The woman claimed that before the shooting, Stone had contacted her multiple times while intoxicated to express “romantic feeling for her” and make “sexual remarks to her,” charges state.[Emphasis added.]

While I focus a lot on managing the paralegal/attorney relationship even with difficult bosses, I do not advise attempting to manage a relationship with a boss like this. Do not wait for shots to be filed. You owe it to yourself and your self-respect, to terminate employment with such a boss without delay. Then report him/her for sexual harassment. It is advisable to consult with an attorney from another office regarding how to handle the termination and report, but not whether to terminate.

Keeping the attorney/paralegal relationship professional – Follow up and updated

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

A short while ago I used the matter of attorney Tom Ostely and paralegal Allison Moreno to illustrate one of the many dangers of crossing the line between professional and personal intimacy between attorneys and paralegals. Today ABAJournal.com reports that the jury has spoken in that matter awarding the lawyer $1.55 million in a defamation counterclaim against the paralegal who sued him for sexual harassment. The jury is now considering punitive damages. According to the report, the defamation claim accused Moreno of telling co-workers at a legal clinic where she worked part time that Ostly was a sexual predator.

The moral of the story, of course, is to keep intimacy on the legal team professional.

Just finished reading a great post on this story from Lynee DeVenny at Practical Paralegalism. No way to do it justice with a summary or excerpt, so go read it here.

Waiting out Danny

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

For those of you on the east coast looking for good reading while waiting out tropical depression Danny, when you are done here I recommend new posts by Lynne at Practical Paralegalism – “The New Frontier for Sexual Harassment at Work: Sexting” and Melissa at Paralegalese, “Team Work at the Law Firm” and “Does Nonlawyer=Incompetent.”