The case of Christian Curry, 25, a black analyst who was fired by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. shortly after nude photos of him appeared in a gay porn magazine, is a sizzling topic on Wall Street these days.

The basic elements of the story are embarrassing to the blue-chip company: a racial discrimination suit, an alleged plan to plant racist e-mails, a payment to an informant and a prosecutorial investigation of the company’s handling of the affair. But any company might find itself in such sticky situations, warn employment and business-crime lawyers who say that the Morgan Stanley scandal is a cautionary tale with lessons that any corporate lawyer should heed.

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