Get A Lawyer if You’re Gonna Sue Jones Day!

What happens when a disgruntled employee of a big-ass law firm with more than “2400 lawyers on five continents” sues for employment discrimination in pro per?

The court grants summary judgment for Jones Day.

Jaki Nelson was a legal secretary for Jones Day for almost 18 years. Nelson alleged that in 1997, things started to get rough, and she was targeted for racial discrimination. Nelson alleged, among other things, that she was given pretextual negative performance reviews which Jones Day countered with evidence that Nelson spent over six hours per day on the Internet on four randomly selected days and that she used the phone for personal calls spending from 45 mintues to three hours on those days.

In most places, that will get you fired pronto. But Jones Day, I must grudgingly admit, appears to have taken the appropriate steps after Nelson complained of harassment because they conducted an investigation which actually included many interviews (which is not as common as most would think) and had meetings with Nelson.

Nelson was eventually laid off and then sued Jones Day for racial discrimination, retaliation and other related causes of action. But apparently Nelson did not have a lawyer and she did not have a lawyer on her appeal.

Not a good move. Maybe she could not find a lawyer because she did not have a good case. That should have told Nelson something. If Nelson simply did not look for a lawyer, that tells me something—it says that Nelson probably would not have been a good client, even if she had a decent case.

At least it’s an unpublished decision.

Nelson v. Day, No. B235720 (June 25, 2013).

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