I know, I know — when most of you think of “class,” you think of a small Long Island law firm that represents a small-town school district. So I’m sure it’s going to come as a shock to you that one of these Island lawyers engaged in a profanity-laced tirade after a school board meeting, in which he cursed out some parents in a parking lot.
This is Long Island we’re talking about, old sport. Respected Long Island attorneys don’t resort to such ribald language. If “Strong Island” isn’t careful, it’s going to be viewed as no better than the Jersey Shore.
Wait… I’m being told that we’re already there. Oh well, might as well take a look at this video of this lawyer calling somebody’s mom the C-word after a school board meeting….
Here’s the video of Minerva & D’Agostino attorney Christopher Kirby absolutely losing it after an East Ramapo school district meeting. The video is not safe for work (NSFW) due to language:
For those of you who can’t click on the video: after dropping F-bombs on various parents, Kirby calls one in particular a “fat c**t.” Which is just rude.
I actually appreciate the restraint of the parents in the parking lot. With a guy being this rude and aggressive, this confrontation could have easily turned violent. Well, let me rephrase: if I had been at this school board meeting and a pissant associate was acting like this, there’s a good chance I would have induced him to physically touch me and then whupped his ass.
Apparently the dispute between Kirby and the woman, Peggy Hatton, started earlier, when Hatton accused Kirby of “smirking” while she spoke in the meeting about her special-needs son. From the Journal News:
Though there’s bad feelings between district officials and some parents, the incident involved a lawyer’s reaction to district critic Peggy Hatton’s remarks about her son, a special-education student who she said had failed a science Regents exam by one point. Her comments came in the public speaking period toward the end of a five-hour school board meeting.
Hatton called out Christopher Kirby, an associate at the Minerva & D’Agostino law firm, for “smirking” as she spoke about the possibility of appealing her son’s grade on the test…
Kirby left the room and then returned moments later, telling Hatton he was still smirking. District critic Antonio Luciano, a friend of Hatton’s and also a former school board candidate, was recording the meeting and cursed Kirby.
The incident escalated outside in the parking lot, where Kirby approached Luciano and taunted him.
Well, doesn’t this Kirby sound just charming. Look, I don’t know who smirked when or who fired the first “a**hole.” But clearly when you are a lawyer and you find yourself leaving a meeting by calling somebody a “fat c**t,” you know you’ve messed up big time.
If Kirby doesn’t know that, surely his firm has made that point to him by now. Last night the East Ramapo school district moved to sever its ties with Minerva & D’Agostino:
“We disassociate ourselves with his actions and his words,” [school district President Yehuda Weissmandl] said, adding that the firm apologized for Kirby’s expletive-filled outburst at parents last week.
“We need to learn a lesson from what happened last week,” he added. “We need to make clear to ourselves and to our community that we will do everything we can to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
I don’t know how you make sure that “this doesn’t happen again,” exactly. As Marin points out, “terms like c***sucker and c**t, they’re highly offensive in Savannah; in Nassau County, it’s simply gentle teasing.” Somebody, somewhere on Long Island, is going to call somebody else a “fat c**t” at a school board meeting. You can bet on that — trust me, I grew up there. Though I’ll note that East Rampano isn’t on Long Island. I don’t know why they were hiring a LI firm, perhaps now they’ll know better.
But that doesn’t mean Christopher Kirby’s career need proceed without further interruption. This associate just lost his firm a client because he melted down in a parking lot. That’s not indicative of proper discretion. I’m sure the partners of Minerva & D’Agostino aren’t smirking as this video of one of their attorneys makes its way around and around the web.
East Ramapo lawyer fires obscenities at parents [Journal News]
East Ramapo to split with firm after lawyer’s profane outburst [Journal News]
Earlier: Morning Docket: 07.05.13