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The sexual harassment case filed against Jackson & Campbell partner Robert Rider Jr., the firm’s current president Richard Bryan, and former president James Schaller is heading into discovery. On Nov. 16, D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss. The plaintiff, former Jackson & Campbell partner Elisa Eisenberg, claims that Rider groped her at a party in June 2006 hosted by the firm for its major client, American International Group. She alleges that the firm took insufficient action to punish Rider and that she was consequently isolated at work. In her order, Bartnoff expressed doubt that Eisenberg’s claim that Rider was acting in the interest of the firm when the alleged harassment occurred will hold up. Still, she said dismissal would be premature. Eisenberg’s attorney, Lauri Cleary of Lerch, Early & Brewer, says she is looking forward to discovery and plans to question others who were at the party. But Judith Wheat of Wheat Wu, counsel for the firm, Bryan, and Schaller, says she is “not aware of any witnesses to what she [Eisenberg] has alleged.” Rider’s attorney, Laura Fentonmiller of Constantine Cannon, had no comment.
Marisa McQuilken can be contacted at [email protected].

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