In the pantheon of "horrible ex-boyfriends," lawyer ex-boyfriends are probably the worst. It's hard to sue them and think anyone will believe you. But this woman did sue, and now the ex-boyfriend's law firm is listening. Does this count as progress?
Angela Kovalesky claims that her ex-boyfriend has put her through a "three-year reign of terror." She says that her ex has been "emotionally and physically abusive." She claims that he hid a "dog-tracker" in her purse so he could monitor her movements. She got a restraining order against him, and says he repeatedly violated it. She even claims that the ex "dictat[ed] what he wanted [her] to say on the witness stand" in her criminal case against him. You can read all of her allegations here. It's important to note that these are just allegations, but if even some of them are true, Kovalesky paints a fairly horrible picture of what her life has been like over the past few years.
Kovalesky's problem is that the ex, Samir Tabar, was a respected Wall Street lawyer and banker. He was educated at Oxford and Columbia Law School, and he was working at one of the top law firms in Manhattan.
But that employment does appear to be in the past tense. Kovalesky did put her allegations into a lawsuit, and now, Tabar doesn't work at the firm anymore.
Kovalesky's lawsuit made the New York Post a couple of days ago. The Post, in its "Post" way, couldn't help from calling Kovalesky a "blonde bombshell" (though that was eventually edited that out) while spinning Tabar as a "jealous, jet-setting New York lawyer." Whatever. The Post story at least had the benefit of bringing these allegations to the attention of Tabar's employer, the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel.
Tabar, and his attorneys, claim that Kovalesky's suit is "frivolous," and say that the complaint contains "multiple falsehoods."
But Tabar's law firm didn't wait for the legal process to play itself out. Yesterday, Schulte announced that Tabar has been let go:
A representative from SRZ had this to say: "Mr. Tabar had been on leave and now no longer works for the firm." In addition, his license to practice law was suspended on November 20, 2013, for failure to pay his registration fees.
I think that's the right call. The allegations in Kovalesky's complaint are not evidence. Tabar will have every opportunity to refute them through the legal process. But that doesn't mean that his employer should sit on its hands and keep giving the guy a paycheck while all this gets sorted out. It's well within the rights of a law firm to hold their lawyers to a standard that involves them not getting involved with anything like this.
If anything, the question is whether Schulte should have waited until the lawsuit... sorry, until the media publication of the lawsuit, before canning him. Kovalesky had a restraining order against Tabar. In February 2013, Kovalesky claims he threatened her with a knife. She filed a complaint with NYPD at that time. In August 2013, Tabar pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct (it's unclear if that plea arose out of any incident involving Kovalesky). But he didn't join Schulte until October 2013. Surely, there were some indications that maybe this guy wasn't a winning hire before the Post broke news of a salacious lawsuit.
We live in a weird world. If you get busted for drug possession, you're going to have a very fun time every time you interview for a good job. But if you have a restraining order taken out against you... meh. If people are complaining to NYPD about your domestic behavior... meh.
We don't know about the veracity of Kovalesky's claims, but I suspect that the matter of Kovalesky v. Tabar will at least be considered by Tabar's next employer.