I think a lot of normal men have been in this position: another guy says something horrible about your female friend or colleague, expecting that you will go along. It makes you very uncomfortable in the moment — because your knuckles stopped dragging on the pavement years ago. Then it makes you extremely uncomfortable later when you see the female friend or colleague, and you have to decide whether or not to tell her the horrible things being said about her by these other people.
It happens more than you think, and most of the times most guys just keep it to themselves. There’s no upside to telling a woman all of the things guys say, most of the time. But sometimes, ironically, especially when it happens in a professional context, you have to tell your female colleague what other professionals are saying about her, just so she’s not blindsided as she tries to go about her job.
Maybe some people would consider it a violation of the “bro code,” but one lawyer seems to think that the code is a viable defense in court. Sanctions are being sought against a divorce lawyer who has allegedly been saying horrible things about female lawyers, and when he got called out, he responded in court that he never said any of that stuff “to their faces.”
And, of course, this is going down in Texas….
When we reported on the Martin Sweeney email meltdown, a tipster said that “not all Texas lawyers conduct discovery like this.” Perhaps, but something seems to be off with the hard-charging litigators in the Lone Star State.
The underlying case is the divorce of hand doctor Michael Brown from his wife, Rachel Brown. Obviously divorce cases tend to get messy, but this one is ridiculous. The attorneys for Michael Brown are Robert Kuehm, Jeanne McDowell, Mary-Olga Lovett, and Phillip Hilder. Lovett is a shareholder in the Houston office of Greenberg Traurig. The lawyers for Michael Brown are seeking sanctions against Rachel Brown’s attorney, Marshall Davis Brown Jr.
Kuehm contends that Brown Jr. has been saying some inappropriate things about his female colleagues. From his complaint:
Actually, Kuehm claims that this kind of behavior is part of Brown Jr.’s litigation strategy to intimidate female attorneys:
Marshall Brown’s response to this motion is really amazing. He doesn’t really deny saying any of these things. He just says that he never said these things to the women in question, which apparently makes it all okay….