Muzzled Lawyer Gets the Boot, Threatens Suit
Deidre Dare, the provocatively named, Moscow-based U.S. lawyer who was muzzled for her writing about a fictional Moscow-based U.S. lawyer's adventures in the sack, has now herself been sacked. And she's not taking it lying down. Allen & Overy, the British firm that employed her and that two weeks earlier had sought to chill her steamy fiction, gave her the boot Jan. 30. Within days, she hired a lawyer and vowed to take legal action against the firm.
We can only hope we are not to blame for her firing after the attention we gave Dare here at Legal Blog Watch. A week before her termination, we told you about her Web site, DeidreDare.com, where she had been publishing weekly chapters of her risque serialized novel about an expatriate lawyer living in Moscow, cleverly titled, "Expat." Her novel details its heroine's sexual encounters with a series of men. It did not, apparently sit well with the higher-ups at Allen & Overy. In mid-January, the firm ordered her to cease and desist from serializing about sex.
Dare's former firm issued a statement to TheLawyer.com saying that it terminated her after following its normal disciplinary process and concluding that her behavior "was unacceptable and totally at odds with the standards of behavior that we expect from all of our people." For her part, Dare tells The Telegraph that her former firm's purported distaste for her fiction was a subterfuge to mask the real reason for her firing -- her complaints about sexual harassment by a male boss. "The whole office knew about my book but they took action against me about it only after I had complained of sexual harassment," she said.
Meanwhile, getting fired may turn into the best career move yet for the 44-year-old Dare, whose real last name is Clark. The Sunday Times featured a prominent interview with her in its arts and entertainment section. Traffic to her Web site jumped from 3,500 visitors a month to nearly a million within just a few days. Multiple publishers have approached her about book deals and she has accepted a Moscow newspaper's invitation to write a weekly column. "I'm being inundated with e-mails from across the globe, people expressing support as well as quite a few men making advances."
This week, The Bitter Lawyer snagged an interview with the now-notorious Dare, asking her, of course, whether she is bitter. "I'm a little bitter. A little bitter indeed." Bitter, yes, but also better off, as she explains:
My life has changed so dramatically, it is almost impossible to describe. I was a lawyer. Now I am, according to The Moscow News, a “celebrity author.” That’s quite a change for someone used to drafting loan agreements.
I have no regrets whatsoever.
The best part of all this is getting the column for The Moscow News. I love writing it. I love being a columnist. I love my editor. I love the paper. It is the coolest job ever.
Dare tells The Bitter Lawyer that she plans to finish the novel that got her into hot water and to "sex it up" in the process. She has already finished a nonfiction book called "Big Swinging Dicks," she says. "It was all about how men overcomplicate the practice of law just to show each other who's bigger." Little wonder she changed her name from Clark to Dare.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on February 11, 2009 at 10:49 AM | Permalink
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