It’s not every day that an ex-Biglaw partner is arrested on federal cyberstalking charges and accused of launching a “campaign of harassment, intimidation, and threats” against his former partners, but here we are.
Willie Dennis, 59, a former corporate partner at K&L Gates, was arrested last week in the Dominican Republic after allegedly sending an untold number of “harassing, threatening, and intimidating emails and text messages” to a number of people at the firm over the course of more than 18 months. The indictment against Dennis was unsealed this past Friday.
Dennis, who is Black, was let go in May 2019, and he did not part ways amicably with the firm. In 2020, he filed suit against K&L Gates, accusing the firm of discriminating against his fellow Black partners and also mounting claims that he was fired after attempting to discuss the firm’s alleged “culture of sexual misconduct.” Per the American Lawyer, that suit is now in arbitration.
Bloomberg Law has additional details on the messages Dennis allegedly sent:
The firm said during an 18-month period after his departure in May 2019 he sent thousands of emails, text messages, faxes and voicemails to firm lawyers that were intended to “harass, humiliate, intimidate, or stoke fear” in the recipients.
The messages included sexist, racist, anti-Semitic and physically threatening statements, the firm said. The firm said he told a Jewish lawyer to “start the ovens,” referred to an Asian-American lawyer as “Wuhan,” and also used racial epithets to refer to other Black lawyers.
Dennis faces four counts of cyberstalking, and up to a 20-year prison sentence.
Ex-K&L Gates Partner Charged With Cyberstalking Partners (1) [Bloomberg Law]
Former K&L Gates Partner Arrested on Cyberstalking Charges [American Lawyer]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.