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Jackson & Campbell’s Robert Rider Jr. concedes that he tapped another firm lawyer on the backside at a party, according to court papers. But in a civil suit against Rider, 44, Elisa Eisenberg describes the incident as career-ending assault and battery. A former nonequity partner at the 50-lawyer firm, Eisenberg, 42, is suing Rider (also a nonequity partner), Jackson & Campbell, firm president Richard Bryan, and former president James Schaller. She seeks at least $1 million in compensatory damages and at least $3 million in punitive damages. In her complaint, filed in June in D.C. Superior Court, Eisenberg says an intoxicated Rider forcefully groped her at a party for a client in June 2006. Eisenberg, who declined to comment, further alleges that Jackson & Campbell created a hostile work environment by refusing to fire Rider, ultimately forcing her to resign the following January. Eisenberg, who is represented by Lauri Cleary of Lerch, Early & Brewer, is not yet at another firm. The firm, along with Bryan and Schaller (who both declined to comment), filed a motion to dismiss on Aug. 21. They and the firm are being represented by Judith Wheat of Wheat Wu. In court papers, the defendants say they took appropriate measures to ensure Rider wasn’t a threat, including requiring he attend sensitivity training, placing a letter of reprimand in his file, and allowing Eisenberg to skip meetings he attended. Both Rider and Eisenberg were members of the liability insurance coverage practice. And because the incident was isolated, they contend the work environment could not reasonably be considered sexually discriminatory or hostile. Rider, who declined to comment, also filed a motion to dismiss the sexual discrimination and emotional distress counts. He is represented by Laura Fentonmiller of Constantine Cannon.
Marisa McQuilken can be contacted at [email protected].

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