Civil Rights, Department of Justice, Federal Government, Litigatrix, Shanetta Cutlar, Ty Clevenger

Shanetta Cutlar: The Perspective of an SPL Escapee

Shanetta Cutlar 2 Shanetta Y Cutlar Shanetta Brown Cutlar DOJ SPL Special Litigation Section Civil Rights Division.jpgWe feel like we’re running an online group therapy session. Pretty much every week, another ex-employee of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section (SPL) writes in to us, so he or she can vent their justifiable frustrations whine about the horrific challenging experience of working under super-diva Shanetta Y. Cutlar. Writing in to ATL seems to be a therapeutic experience for these people.
As we mentioned yesterday, one former SPL employee sent us a copy of their completed exit survey. We reprint it after the jump. But first, here’s an introduction to what you’re about to read:

I quit SPL largely because of Shanetta’s mismanagement of the section. I’m attaching a copy I kept of my exit survey — though some of the fields did not print in full, and I redacted some fields to remove info related to my personal identity.

Feel free to post any portions you’d like…. You might want to consider submitting a FOIA request for a full copy of this and any other exit surveys or other information related to evaluations / criticisms of Shanetta if you haven’t already done so.

In addition to the written exit survey, I had an exit interview with the front office when I left (which was over two years ago), and I stressed the issues people were having with Shanetta during that interview. So the front office has been aware of the issues with her at least since then, if not earlier.

Interesting. According to this tipster, the folks in the “front office” — i.e., the DOJ powers-that-be — have been aware of Shanetta Cutlar’s distinctive management style for quite some time.
Fortunately, they have had the wisdom to leave well enough alone — despite complaints from folks who just aren’t up to the task of enforcing our nation’s civil rights laws. May Shanetta Cutlar reign forever over the Special Litigation Section!!!
Excerpts from this disgruntled lawyer’s exit questionnaire, after the jump.

Now, we don’t want to get your hopes up here. This completed exit survey doesn’t really contain any new horror stories information about SPL chief Shanetta Cutlar.
But it does provide confirmation, in the form of written documentation, of what different sources have already told us about the Special Litigation Section under Chief Cutlar.
Here’s the first excerpt:
exit survey 1 Special Litigation Section.jpg
This person left the Special Litigation Section over two years ago. The issues being raised today, and the complaints about that vague thing called “morale,” are nothing new.
If nobody has interfered with Shanetta Cutlar before, why should they start now?
exit survey 2 Special Litigation Section.jpg
Look, everyone — even fancy-pants “lawyers,” with their expensive legal educations — must do SOME administrative work. It’s a fact of life. So just deal.
To be sure, forcing lawyers to do massive amounts of admin work seems to be a Shanetta Cutlar trademark. Remember Ty Clevenger and the 30+ hours of typing that he and a colleague were forced to do, because SYC allegedly ordered the secretaries not to help them?
We think treating lawyers like secretaries is salutary. Nothing encourages a healthy sense of humility like being forced to do your own typing, filing, and photocopying.
exit survey 3 Special Litigation Section.jpg
It’s no surprise that lawyers in private practice make WAY more than government attorneys (even federal government lawyers at the DOJ, who are paid better than either AUSAs or state government lawyers). Yawn.
Our source now makes way more money at a law firm than they did at DOJ. But do they have a boss as dynamic and fabulous as Shanetta Cutlar? We think not.
exit survey 4 Special Litigation Section.jpg
Ah yes — Docket Review under Shanetta Cutlar. We’ve written about this excruciating process in great detail before. This exit survey provides documentary corroboration, from a new source, of information we already had from other sources.
We can’t help wondering: Why does everyone bitch and moan so much about this process? “Docket Review” — taking a look at where all of your different cases stand, together with your section chief and deputies — is routine at the DOJ. So why does everyone make such a big deal about Docket Review with Shanetta Cutlar?
SYC demands that lawyers be prepared when they go in for Docket Reviews. She doesn’t want them to waste her time. And she wants them to know the answers to her questions. Is that so wrong?
exit survey 5 Special Litigation Section.jpg
This is interesting. For those of you who insist in attacking our beloved SYC, we ask you: Are those four lawyers “favorites”? Or do they simply do better work, for which they are rewarded accordingly?
exit survey 6 Special Litigation Section.jpg
Jeez, you people cannot stop whining. Stop being such babies!
We like this comment to our last Shanetta Cutlar post:

The comments made on this website are all [allegations], which are unfounded and unsubstantiated. Until these allegations are proven to be true, Chief Cutlar will have the last laugh.

I urge everyone to look at the public records of complaints filed against other managers at DOJ. Some of the allegations in those complaints make Mrs. Cutlar look like a saint.

Mrs. Cutlar did not write the book entitled, “How to Be a Rigid Boss,” she simply read the book and followed direction.

In sum, Shanetta Cutlar can be tough, stern, and demanding. Should we expect anything less from our leadership at the U.S. Department of Justice?
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of the Special Litigation Section under Shanetta Cutlar (scroll down)

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