Being "stupid" about the subject of abortion shouldn't get you fired.
I disagree with Ms. Keller's views on Roe v Wade. Does that make her racist or a bad corporate restructuring attorney? I don't think so. In fact she's entitled to disagree with me (I can't believe I actually said that).
Would I ever hire Hogan Lovell? Probably not. F-ck them!
No Dissent on Abortion Allowed at Hogan Lovells
The global law firm fired me for defending the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.
By Robin Keller, WSJ
Nov. 29, 2022 6:12 pm ET
After the Supreme Court issued its Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June, global law firm Hogan Lovells organized an online conference call for female employees. As a retired equity partner still actively serving clients, I was invited to participate in what was billed as a “safe space” for women at the firm to discuss the decision. It might have been a safe space for some, but it wasn’t safe for me.
Everyone else who spoke on the call was unanimous in her anger and outrage about Dobbs. I spoke up to offer a different view. I noted that many jurists and commentators believed Roe had been wrongly decided. I said that the court was right to remand the issue to the states. I added that I thought abortion-rights advocates had brought much of the pushback against Roe on themselves by pushing for extreme policies. I referred to numerous reports of disproportionately high rates of abortion in the black community, which some have called a form of genocide. I said I thought this was tragic.
The outrage was immediate. The next speaker called me a racist and demanded that I leave the meeting. Other participants said they “lost their ability to breathe” on hearing my comments. After more of the same, I hung up.
Someone made a formal complaint to the firm. Later that day, Hogan Lovells suspended my contracts, cut off my contact with clients, removed me from email and document systems, and emailed all U.S. personnel saying that a forum participant had made “anti-Black comments” and was suspended pending an investigation. The firm also released a statement to the legal website Above the Law bemoaning the devastating impact my views had on participants in the forum—most of whom were lawyers participating in a call convened expressly for the purpose of discussing a controversial legal and political topic. Someone leaked my name to the press.
I filed my own complaint with the firm’s general counsel’s office alleging that the firm and those who had attacked me on the call had violated the company’s antiharassment policy by publicly labeling me a racist. Hogan Lovells hired another firm to conduct an outside investigation. Three weeks later I received a letter stating that the firm had concluded that my reference to comments labeling black abortion rates genocide was a violation of the antiharassment policy. Never mind that this view has been expressed by numerous mainstream commentators, black and white, including in these pages. My complaint was dismissed, my contracts with the firm were terminated, and other firms, wary of the publicity, blackballed me—all after an unblemished 44-year career.
The response of the rabidly anti-Dobbs participants on the call wasn’t surprising. What was shocking, at least to me, was how eagerly Hogan Lovells kowtowed to a woke faction inside its workforce. Several women on the call—as well as male lawyers at the firm—contacted me later to offer private support for my right to express my views. Those former colleagues must now realize that they are in a hostile work environment. If this could happen to me, anyone who expresses a disfavored opinion—even on a matter of law—can expect the same treatment: immediate cancellation without concern for client interests, due process or fairness.
Ms. Keller is former head of the U.S. business restructuring and insolvency practice at Hogan Lovells.