Biglaw, Email Scandals, Partner Issues, Rudeness

Another Biglaw Partner’s ‘Reply All’ Misadventure

Does being a Biglaw partner mean never having to say you’re sorry… for annoying, rude, or stupid firm-wide emails? When associates hit “reply all” to firm-wide emails, they sometimes wind up in hot water. But when partners send their random musings far and wide, their colleagues often praise them.

Sure, occasionally “reply all” emails from partners don’t go over well. Sometimes the messages come across as lecherous: “I admire your gumption, especially when you’re in a tight dress.” Sometimes they sound disloyal: “Why are we both still at this firm?”

Today’s Biglaw partner “reply all” doesn’t rise to those heights of cringe-worthiness. But it’s still bad enough to be worth sharing with you….

(Please note the UPDATE added below, which puts the partner’s email in proper context.)

This all went down at Kasowitz Benson, a firm that has been facing some challenges lately. Here’s the background, from a tipster:

This is another example of a highly inappropriate email from Michael Bowe, a partner hated by [several people here at the firm]. Every few months, he tries to be funny and responds to a request with an offensive response. Clearly he’s trying to be funny. He’s not, and I know [several people who] don’t find his sense of humor acceptable or appreciated. I’ve redacted the attorney’s name that sent out the request.

Here’s the email chain in question:

Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2014 04:50 PM
To: NYC – Attorneys; NYC – Support Staff
Subject: Romanian Speaker

Pardon the interruption —

Please let me know if you speak Romanian.


From: Michael J. Bowe
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:13 PM
To: ASSOCIATE; NYC – Attorneys; NYC – Support Staff
Subject: Re: Romanian Speaker

No, but if you need a pair of black ladies L.K. Bennett pumps real cheap, I know where you can find some.

Lame? Yes (unless I’m missing some brilliant inside joke or movie reference). If you’re going to send a firm-wide email, you’d best be hilarious.

Offensive? I’m not sure — unless you find wasting the time of hundreds of lawyers and staffers with unfunny commentary to be “offensive.”

We don’t have a huge problem with that here at Above the Law.

UPDATE (7:30 p.m.): We left open the possibility of a “brilliant inside joke,” and it turns out that an inside joke was being made (you can debate the brilliance of it). A tipster explains:

Shortly before the original translation request came through, someone sent the following (independently funny) email:

“A pair of black L.K. Bennett pumps were found. If you think they belong to you, please see the 22nd floor receptionist.”

THEN came the Romanian request.

Then Bowe’s response:

“No, but if you need a pair of black ladies L.K. Bennett pumps real cheap, I know where you can find some.”

See? Makes sense now.

Everyone (except this staff member tipster who apparently doesn’t check all of his/her email) thought it was funny and nobody thought it was offensive. We get a reply all from him every few months and they’re usually (inoffensive) gems that we all look forward to.

If you have any other information you’d like to share about Kasowitz, feel free to email us or text us (646-820-8477). Thanks!

Earlier: Biglaw Partner Offers Cautionary Tale in Use of ‘Reply All’
A Biglaw Partner’s Lecherous ‘Reply All’
Did This Biglaw Partner Act Like A Big Tool? Let’s Discuss
In Defense Of The Kirkland Partner’s Controversial Email

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