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Senior Associate Sues WilmerHale Alleging Discrimination and Defamation
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A senior associate at the prominent U.S. law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr has initiated legal action against his employer, alleging racial discrimination and defamation in his 2022 year-end evaluation. The lawsuit was filed in a New York state court.

Discrimination Allegations

New York-based associate Jean Dassie, of African-American descent, contends that he was terminated after his mid-year review in July, despite consistently delivering above-average performance. Despite his commendable contributions, he claims that the firm informed him that he was not on track to be promoted to counsel by year-end. In an alarming twist, the lawsuit reveals that other associates, who performed less substantive work than Dassie and were not Black, were promoted to counsel instead.

Still on the Firm’s Roster

Despite the legal dispute, Dassie was still listed as part of WilmerHale’s personnel on their website at the time of this report. His profile highlights his specialization in handling intellectual property litigation.

  
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Firm’s Response

As of this article’s publication, a spokesperson for WilmerHale has not yet responded to requests for comment. Notably, Dassie represents himself in the case and has refrained from making any public statements.

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Key Dispute: A 2022 Confrontation

Dassie’s legal complaint centers around a confrontation he claims to have had in 2022 with WilmerHale counsel Anh-Khoa Tran. According to Dassie, the dispute was related to the editing of PowerPoint slides. He further alleges that Tran provided a false account of the confrontation to WilmerHale, ultimately influencing his 2022 year-end evaluation.

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WilmerHale’s official evaluation stated that Dassie had engaged in an altercation with a supervising attorney that was “inconsistent with WilmerHale culture and values.”

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Additional Defendants

In addition to WilmerHale as the primary defendant, the lawsuit also names Anh-Khoa Tran, based in Palo Alto, California, as a defendant. An unnamed firm employee, responsible for compiling “defamatory statements published” in Dassie’s evaluation, is also included in the lawsuit.

At the time of this publication, Anh-Khoa Tran has not responded to requests for comment regarding the ongoing legal dispute.



 

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