The New York Law Journal by Daniel Wise - January 12, 2009
New York state, in a motion for summary judgment filed last week, portrayed an attorney who sought $10 million damages for her firing by the First Department's Departmental Disciplinary Committee as violating the direct orders of her superiors. The lawyer, Christine C. Anderson, filed the lawsuit in 2007 claiming she was fired after six years as a staff attorney because she complained the committee's chief counsel and his top deputy were "whitewashing" complaints against "certain select attorneys." A brief filed for the defendants - the state and three committee officials - stated that instead of following her direct supervisor's orders, Ms. Anderson engaged in "an eight month campaign to circumvent and berate" the supervisor, Sherry K. Cohen. The brief, which was written by Assistant Attorneys General Lee Alan Alderstein and Wesley E. Bauman, also contended that the "highest officers" in the First Department courthouse were aware of Ms. Anderson's "acerbic and posturing conduct." Ms. Anderson's attorney, John A. Beranbaum, retorted that the defendant's brief is using an "employers' time-honored technique of trying to trivialize a valid whistle-blowing claim" by labeling it "a disgruntled employee's personal grievance." Mr. Beranbaum, of Beranbaum Menken Ben-Asher & Bierman, added, "at the end of the day, this tactic will prove unsuccessful."