Former partner suing Dorsey & Whitney law firm

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A former partner in the New York office of Dorsey & Whitney is suing the Minneapolis-based law firm, claiming gender discrimination and violations of the whistleblower act, among other things.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Gary Larson heard an hour of arguments Tuesday on the Dorsey firm's motion to dismiss Kristan Peters' suit.

Peters began working as a Dorsey partner in January 2007 and left on June 23. At the core of the case is her handling of a trade secrets dispute on behalf of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services in New York. The matter drew media attention in trade publications, largely because of U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer Jr.'s 129-page opinion criticizing Peters' behavior.

According to R. Scott Davies of Briggs and Morgan, who is representing Dorsey, Baier scolded Peters 22 times for her handling of the case. Davies said Peters played fast and loose with the litigation, lied to the court and misrepresented circumstances to the firm's partners.

Peters' lawyer James Kaster countered that the judge's behavior, not Peters', was unusual. The behavior Baer disliked -- such as scheduling a 7-hour deposition over two days and refusing to give bathroom breaks -- is not unusual, Kaster said.

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