The Northern District’s Women Attorneys Advocacy Project presented a program on December 6th entitled “He Said What?: Tackling Unprofessional Conduct Towards Women Attorneys.” Lieff Cabraser employment practice group chair Kelly M. Dermody was joined by other leading figures in the Bay Area legal community: District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, Paul Grewal of Facebook Inc., and Annette Hurst of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe for a roundtable discussion on gender bias and discrimination in the legal realm.
As reported by The Recorder (subscription), the panel highlighted the roles of female lawyers and how unprofessional discriminatory conduct, such as bullying and sexist remarks from fellow male attorneys, is handled at different stages of civil litigation, whether during bench trials, in depositions, or outside the courtroom. According to Dermody, it is not an uncommon occurrence in complex multi-party cases for “men to rush to the podium at oral argument – even in instances where there’s a prior agreement that a women will take the lead on a certain issue.”
In addition to spreading awareness of the breadth of this discrimination, the panel stressed that clients and judges have the power “to address inappropriate conduct by lawyers on their payrolls and in their courtrooms.”
Dermody further noted, “I think this is a real issue not just in the law but in all types of professions where a woman’s voice and authority is questioned.”
Lieff Cabraser’s Work on Behalf of Employees Nationwide
Lieff Cabraser’s nationally-recognized employment lawyers are litigating many of the most significant employment class action lawsuits in our nation today. These cases challenge gender and race discrimination, where female or minority employees are not hired, are paid less than their white male counterparts, or are given fewer opportunities to advance at the company; policies requiring hourly workers to report to work early, stay late, or work through breaks for no pay (off-the-clock work); policies classifying employees as salaried who should have been classified as hourly workers and received overtime pay; and pension plan abuses under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims on behalf of employees and retirees.
About Kelly Dermody
The Chair of Lieff Cabraser’s employment practice group and Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, Ms. Dermody supervises many of the most significant and challenging employment lawsuits in our nation today, including cases challenging gender and race discrimination by top Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Fortune 100 firms; wage suppression claims against technology, healthcare, and academic institutions; overtime and lost pay lawsuits for low-wage workers, I/T professionals, and foreign nationals working for American corporations; and ERISA claims that she has tried on behalf of employees and retirees for pension plan abuses.