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Former Goldman Sachs lawyer says she was fired after making an attempt to talk up about sexual misconduct


Trials & Litigation

A former affiliate common counsel at Goldman Sachs has filed a lawsuit alleging that she was fired after making an attempt to talk up about sexual misconduct by an organization lawyer after which complaining when he retaliated in opposition to her.

Lawyer Marla Crawford says in an Oct. 26 lawsuit that Goldman Sachs and its senior legal professionals permitted a office “where sexual harassment is covered up and the powerful are cloaked with immunity.” The swimsuit was filed in New York state court docket by the Wigdor legislation agency.

Crawford’s swimsuit alleges that Goldman Sachs’ international head of litigation, Darrell Cafasso, used his place “to romantically prey upon a much younger and vulnerable female colleague.”

The lady, known as Jane Doe within the lawsuit, was coping with private issues and knew that her efficiency wanted enhancement. Cafasso allegedly promised the subordinate job advantages if she would “return the favor.”

Cafasso allegedly instructed the lady that he thought he was falling in love along with her. After Cafasso’s spouse came upon concerning the conduct, she known as Doe and stated she was “praying for her,” the swimsuit says. Cafasso was pressured to disclose his conduct to common counsel Karen Seymour, and he and his spouse collectively known as Doe to inform her that the connection was over, the swimsuit says.

Weil Gotshal & Manges was retained “to conduct a bogus investigation,” the swimsuit says.

Crawford says she was a confidant of Doe, however she was by no means approached for info. Nor had been others who had been “obvious interview subjects.” When Crawford instructed human sources that she had pertinent info, she was allegedly instructed to “keep her mouth shut.”

Cafasso returned to work after the investigation, however Doe didn’t. Doe, who was represented by ladies’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, was probably paid cash to depart, in response to the swimsuit.

“When Ms. Crawford complained about Mr. Cafasso’s conduct she was immediately subject to blatant retaliation,” the swimsuit alleges. Before he was positioned on go away, Cafasso lowered an inner metric measuring efficiency for Crawford and raised it for Doe. After Cafasso returned, he gave Crawford damaging feedback on a beforehand finalized evaluation.

Crawford complained of retaliation, however her complaints had been rejected in an inner investigation, the swimsuit says. The subsequent day, Crawford realized that her bonus can be lowered for the primary time.

“Cafasso never looked at Ms. Crawford the same and refused to work with her substantively, speak to her or assign her the work she had been accustomed to doing,” the swimsuit says. “Shortly thereafter, Ms. Crawford was fired.”

Crawford alleges violations of New York state and metropolis human rights legislation.

Seymour was employed as Goldman Sachs’ common counsel in 2018 from Sullivan & Cromwell, and he or she employed Cafasso, a Sullivan & Cromwell colleague, as the top of litigation.

“Many felt Ms. Seymour’s choice was favoritism towards her Sullivan Cromwell colleague—and for Ms. Seymour, it was important that her selection worked out,” the swimsuit says.

Crawford beforehand labored at Jones Day. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2010 and was its international e-discovery supervisor, she says within the swimsuit. She transitioned to the litigation and regulatory apply group in 2012, however she continued to work because the financial institution’s e-discovery knowledgeable.

Crawford says when she was knowledgeable that she was being let go, she was instructed that the e-discovery operate of her job was being moved to Dallas as a cost-cutting measure. She was supplied the chance to maneuver there with a ongoing wage reduce.

“This was a false choice, as it is well known that Ms. Crawford’s whole family is in New York, that she is the primary caregiver for her 83-year-old immunocompromised mother, and that she had bought a new townhouse earlier in 2020,” the swimsuit says. “Mr. Cafasso knew very well that Ms. Crawford would be forced out by this option.”

Goldman Sachs had stated Crawford may stay working on the financial institution by means of November, however she was fired in October after she disclosed her plans to sue, in response to her swimsuit.

A Goldman Sachs spokesperson gave this assertion to the ABA Journal: “We conducted a review of the allegations in this complaint and found that they were completely without merit. The general counsel took all appropriate actions, including ensuring there were thorough investigations by our HR function, after the incidents that form the basis of the plaintiff’s complaint. As part of a broader legal division restructuring, the plaintiff was offered her same job in a different location, an opportunity she declined. Given the lack of merit to plaintiff’s claim of retaliation, we have been unable to resolve the matter and thus have no choice but to contest it through the proper legal channels.”


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