Lawyer fired for appraisal sues for wrongful discharge

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in Firing,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

A former lawyer at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP has filed a lawsuit against the law firm for terminating his employment after he wrote a performance evaluation that criticized another associate and partner.

Gary H. Green, an associate who worked in the firm’s labor department in Los Angeles, sued Skadden Arps and several of its attorneys for wrongful termination, intentional tortious interference with an employment relationship and breaches of California’s Labor Code.

The firm fired Green in January 2008 after seven years at the firm. It said Green displayed “poor judgment” in writing the performance evaluation. According to Green, he was told the performance review was “intemperate”—that the firm worried that if the client referenced in the evaluation decided to sue the law firm concerning the associate, Green’s evaluation could be used to establish liability.

Green filed suit in the Superior Court of the State of California, Los Angeles County. He is seeking punitive damages and reinstatement to his former job.

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