Practice Pointers

ATL Practice Pointer: Don’t Discuss Private Matters in Public Places (Or: A Thelen partner’s reaction to ATL layoff coverage)

E train New York City subway car Above the Law blog.jpgConfidentiality. Lawyers get lectured about it all the time. Despite all the warnings, attorneys young and old routinely get themselves in trouble through indiscretion (not just Eliot Spitzer).
Sometimes Supreme Court clerks are overheard talking about their cases. Sometimes law firm partners are overheard talking about firm business. An in-house tipster provides this account of a morning subway ride:

I was sitting on the E train at approximately 9 AM today. Next to me was a tall, older woman with a short (obviously dyed) blond hair cut. A younger (I would guess in his 40s) man saw her and made some comment about how funny it was to see her. She made a face, said she was in a rather bad mood, and showed him an email on her blackberry.

Now this conversation only lasted from the 7th Avenue stop on the E to the 5th Avenue one where Male (I’m assuming Partner) got off in order to attend a meeting, and Female (I’m assuming Partner) got off at the Lexington/Third Avenue stop [at 53rd Street].

Note: Thelen’s offices are at 875 and 900 Third Avenue, around 53rd Street….

The conversation continued to express FP’s concern regarding the person in the email. That FP would “talk to her” as soon as she got in. MP seemed somewhat unconcerned as he “suspected something like this would happen.”

Talk to Her — the title of a critically acclaimed Almodovar film. In this context, however, we’re guessing that FP’s secretary or assistant got laid off (or is about to get laid off) — and FP needs to discuss the situation with her.

Then MP mentioned your piece in (which is how I figured out what they were talking about), stating that the firm was reflected fairly well all things considered, and how the piece could have been worse. FP made a comment about how it only got bad when you read the comments, where it seems a lot of information was given out that made her very unhappy.

Ah, the comments. Sometimes they make us “very unhappy” too — although, for the most part, we are grateful for the insight and humor contained therein.
Welcome to the internets, FP. And exercise greater discretion next time — you never know who might be listening.
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner

(hidden for your protection)

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