As AmLawyer notes, the video was put together in “fun.” Nevertheless, Scott Moss and other commenters have pointed out the real issues that could come out of this. Is the video introduceable as evidence in a future discrimination lawsuit? Law firms are supposed to be smarter than this. At a big firm, someone is (or should be) vetting everything that goes out the door.
And law firms often do have deep-seated underlying problems with gender. Speak off the record with attorneys at many big firms, and you’re likely to hear about all sorts of potential concerns: alcohol-fueled team visits to strip clubs; female secretaries paid to keep quiet about harrassment; questionable relations between male associates and female paralegals; and so on.
This isn’t to suggest that J&G has any such problems itself (I have no knowledge whether it does or does not). And it’s not to suggest that the video is actionable itself.
But if J&G is sued for other alleged violations, the video potentially takes on new significance. A smart plaintiffs’ attorney will try to connect the video to any other problems. The video could make it harder for the firm to disavow the acts of any particular associate or partner. I’m no employment law expert, but I know that’s a case I wouldn’t want to have to defend. All because someone tried to be funny.
As Christine correctly notes, “it’s always funny until someone reads it back to you at a deposition.”