“You’re still hot? You’re not getting menopause, I hope.” That’s the “joke” that got lawyer Camilo Salas in trouble during a deposition back in April, in front 14 other attorneys, as his opposing counsel, Dora Monserrate-Peñagarícano, had complained that the room was too hot. While Salas insisted that he was only worried about Monserrate-Peñagarícano’s “medical condition,” District Judge Francisco Besosa ruled that his comment was meant to embarrass Monserrate-Peñagarícano and ordered Salas to pay $1,000 in attorney fees and take a legal education course on professionalism. In his ruling, Judge Besosa noted the ongoing problem of sexism in the courtroom, writing that “discriminatory comments like this undoubtedly occur on a daily basis in the legal profession and are routinely swept under the rug.” Bloomberg Business linked the story to a study released earlier this year that found female lawyers have to deal with inappropriate, stereotypical or patronizing comments from colleagues and judges all the time, which might be one of the reasons why few female lawyers are arguing cases in lead roles, if at all. Salas has yet to pay the fine and has been allowed to stay on the case, which is taking place in Puerto Rico.
Read the full story at Bloomberg Business.