Skip to content
News & Press
Heather M. Palmore, Esq. Files Discrimination and Bullying Lawsuit against Napoli Shkolnik

Wigdor LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of Heather M. Palmore, Esq. who was the Chief Trial Counsel at Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC (the “Firm”), for unrelenting and egregious discrimination and retaliation.  The lawsuit alleges that Ms. Palmore was terminated and had a frivolous preemptive lawsuit filed against her after she raised numerous complaints of discrimination and when the Firm knew Ms. Palmore was about to file a lawsuit against her.

The complaint can be read here:

  • A stuffed bear was hung from a noose on a light fixture in direct view of her office.

  • The Firm followed a discriminatory directive from a client and removed a female associate from a case because the client believes that men attorneys are “more aggressive” and “know how to get things done.”
  • In a firmwide questionnaire, employees stated that they were subjected to discriminatory conduct such as mocking of their accents and pronunciations.
  • After raising internal complaints of discrimination, Ms. Palmore was harshly yelled at several times and horrifically harassed by senior leadership including blaming Ms. Palmore that the Firm had to incur expenses related to addressing her complaints.
  • Paul Napoli, a Partner at the Firm, confirmed to Ms. Palmore, in writing, and before she even had an opportunity to describe the basis for her claims of discrimination, that he had already “disposed” of her claims and that he had already concluded her claims were “spurious.”
  • As a result of the Firm’s treatment, Ms. Palmore suffered serious health conditions.  Knowing that she was suffering from these health concerns, the Firm filed a completely bogus preemptive lawsuit against her during a time when the Firm had begged Ms. Palmore not to file her action in order for the parties to discuss a settlement.
  • The Firm fired Ms. Palmore without stating any legitimate basis for her termination.

In what can only be described as an act of obvious desperation, Napoli Shkolnik PLLC cobbled together lies and sued Ms. Palmore only after she had raised claims of discrimination—towards herself and her colleagues—and days before, as they knew, a lawsuit was about to be filed against them.  Ms. Palmore will hold the Firm fully accountable for this conduct.

Statement from David Gottlieb, Partner at Wigdor LLP:

“Napoli Shkolnik embodies the lowest level of the legal profession—run by partners who lack any level of integrity and will stop at nothing to use the courts to exact revenge, engage in intimidation and bully those who stand up to them.  The firm’s treatment of Ms. Palmore and others is completely deplorable, and the firm must be held fully accountable in all regards.”

Statement from Heather M. Palmore, Esq.:

“As a 52 year old African American woman, single mother of an Army Ranger, community servant, leader, Ivy League graduate who has been a practicing attorney for over 28 years and has amassed a stellar reputation as a trial attorney and advocate for all people, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, I am charged with the duty to ensure that in any space that I walk into or my feet touch upon, is fair, equitable and free of discriminatory practices.  Napoli Shkolnik and its Partners have created and supported a culture of bias, racism, toxicity and discrimination towards women, ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community and disabled people.  In the almost two years that I have been associated with the firm, I have witnessed first-hand, the mass exodus of the aforementioned protected classes—with decent, hardworking people leaving broken, battered and bruised.  When these issues were raised, I was met with hostility and abuse, both direct and indirect, from the leadership at Napoli Shkolnik, and employees of the firm.

I have been subjected to a hanging noose with a bear outside my office; racist and offensive conduct; being berated for speaking up to protect myself and others; derogatory statements about my abilities; and it goes on and on from there.  I have not and will not remain silent, even in the face of harassment, bullying, retaliation and intimidation.  As a lifelong advocate, I have a duty to advocate for not only for myself, but for those whose voices have been silenced by the use of bully tactics, smear campaigns, and marginalization of talent, all for the need to create a culture of oppression and submission, for profit.  Sadly, I am not the only one.  There are other current and former employees who have been abused, targeted and bullied by firm leadership on a daily basis.  I have been targeted and made to feel marginalized for speaking up, notwithstanding my stellar trial records and academic acumen.  My voice will never be silenced for fear of reprisal.

This smear campaign from Napoli Shkolnik is designed to silence me and instill fear in the current and former employees and staff from coming forward and exercising our rights to work in a fair, equitable and hostile-free environment.  It is my honor to stand boldly in the face of adversity, even at the cost of my physical, emotional and mental health.  I am grateful for those colleagues and friends who have supported me throughout this journey and who have stood shoulder to shoulder with me to make sure that those in leadership at Napoli Shkolnik understand that everyone deserves just, fair and equitable treatment.”

Press Coverage:

2.27.23_ NYLJ: Lawyer Accused of Quiet Quitting

2.27.21. NY Lawyer sued for ‘quiet quitting’ strikes back with race bias lawsuit

2.27.23. Attorney Accused of Quiet Quitting

2.28.23. Law Firm sues attorney for quiet quitting

2.28.23. Attorney accused in quiet quitting lawsuit

3.3.23. NYPost.NY Lawyer sued after company claims she ‘quiet quit’ her job

3.9.23:  AbovetheLaw. Attorney sued for quiet quitting her law firm now seeks sanctions

Watch NBC New York Interview here: