Shanetta Cutlar 2 Shanetta Y Cutlar Shanetta Brown Cutlar DOJ SPL Special Litigation Section Civil Rights Division.jpgSome of you disagree, but we consider the Justice Department’s Shanetta Y. Cutlar to be a great diva. Based on the term’s origin in the world of opera, we define a “diva” as a woman of tremendous talent, whose ability is matched only by her difficult temperament.
By this standard, Shanetta Cutlar qualifies. In terms of talent, SYC has risen to a position of great power and prestige within the DOJ. She has been highly successful and effective in that post, efficiently moving a huge caseload, and advancing the federal government’s civil rights agenda.
As for her temperament — well, we don’t need to remind you about that. We’ve filled many pages with tales of how SYC runs the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section (“SPL”). These stories have come from former employees, both lawyers and staff members, who have worked under Ms. Cutlar.
The more we post about Shanetta Cutlar, the more tips flow in from disgruntled ex-employees. One recent email provided a lengthy enumeration of SYC’s alleged foibles as a manager.
We took the substance of that list and reworked it, transforming it into SYC’s Ten Tips for Aspiring Divas — the kind of thing you might see as a sidebar in Cosmo. You can check it out after the jump.


The substance of the list below is taken from an email we received from a former SPL employee. We have merely converted it into a top ten list of imperatives.
1. Verbally abuse employees and embarrass them in front of their colleagues. Speak to them as if they are children in grade school.
2. Slam doors. And I mean LOUD!
3. Pass by employees like the wind, without acknowledging their existence. But ream them out for failing to acknowledge you.
4. Question, monitor, or deny requests for leave usage ["leave" is government-ese for "vacation"].
5. Carefully track the arrival and departure times of disfavored employees. While keeping basic track of employee productivity is something that any competent supervisor should do, an obsessive focus upon it can be used to drive unwanted staffers out the door.
6. Have a long memory for errors and slights. You never know when a dredged-up recollection of a mistake from several months ago might come in handy.
7. Send nasty emails to people, with a strong tone.
8. Use lieutenants liberally to carry out your dirty work. Deploy deputies to take charge of unpleasant matters and taunt line employees.
9. Avoid spontaneous conversations with employees about work issues — and cut staffers off immediately if they attempt to initiate them. Always make them approach you through formal channels — e.g., by scheduling meetings through your secretary — so you can prepare in advance, and never get ambushed.
10. Treat no one as sacred. No one.
Our tipster concludes:

“Some may cheat death, but there’s no cheating Shanetta. You are going to get it; the only question is when.”

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of the Special Litigation Section under Shanetta Cutlar


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