The fate of Kerrie Campbell, a female litigation partner at Chadbourne & Parke in Washington, D.C., who last year filed a $100 million gender discrimination suit against the firm, will wait at least another day. An 11:00 a.m. EDT partnership vote scheduled Wednesday to determine her status at the firm has been postponed.
Campbell, who earlier this week unsuccessfully sought to have a federal judge in New York block a partnership vote, wrote a memorandum to all Chadbourne partners Wednesday urging them to vote against the management committee’s decision to expel her from the partnership. Campbell joined Chadbourne in January 2014 from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in a move brokered by the recruiting firm Sitcov Director.
A spokeswoman for Campbell’s legal team at Sanford Heisler Sharp—a firm that earlier this week took on a new name partner for an office in Nashville—and a Chadbourne spokesman confirmed the postponement of the firm’s partnership vote. The reason for the postponement, however, remained unclear. Both sides declined to discuss the possibility of settlement talks, although Campbell’s lead lawyer, David Sanford, has previously acknowledged such discussions.
The American Lawyer reported earlier this month on Chadbourne’s decision to call a partnership vote to decide on whether to eject Campbell from the partnership. The firm is poised to combine with Norton Rose Fulbright sometime in the next two months. Lawyers for Campbell and two other former Chadbourne partners suing the firm—of counsel and ex-product liability leader Mary Yelenick and former Kiev office leader Jaroslawa Zelinsky Johnson—have said that Norton Rose Fulbright could be drawn into the case.
Proskauer Rose, which in 2013 settled a $10 million discrimination suit filed against the firm by former CFO Elly Rosenthal, who was represented by David Sanford, is also advising Chadbourne in the gender bias suit brought by Campbell, Yelenick and Johnson. Lexington Insurance Co., a Boston-based subsidiary of American International Group Inc., is serving as Chadbourne’s insurance carrier in the litigation. Chadbourne has called the plaintiffs’ claims meritless.
This developing story will be updated with new information.