Remember Jonas Blank? He was the fellow who, while working at Skadden Arps as a summer associate in 2003, sent out this infamous email:
“I’m busy doing jack shit. Went to a nice 2hr sushi lunch today at Sushi Zen. Nice place. Spent the rest of the day typing emails and bullshitting with people. Unfortunately, I actually have work to do — I’m on some corp finance deal, under the global head of corp finance, which means I should really peruse these materials and not be a fuckup…”
“So yeah, Corporate Love hasn’t worn off yet… But just give me time…”
Despite this problematic email — which he meant to send to one friend, but instead sent to the firm’s entire underwriting group, partners included — Blank went on to full-time employment at Skadden after graduating from Harvard Law.
After several (no doubt thrilling) years at Skadden, Blank — accurately described by the New Yorker as “handsome” (see photo) — is moving on.* As reported by the Skadden Insider blog, next month Blank will be starting work as an associate at Richards, Kibbe & Orbe. We wish him the best of luck.
Welcome to the Skadden Insider, a blog created to collect and pass along (and sometimes comment on) the gossip and news making its way through the halls of a certain law firm’s offices. Whether its New York, Boston, Washington DC or Palo Alto, Skadden Insider will be your place to read the latest.
May similar blogs sprout up for every large law firm in the land! Especially Sullivan & Cromwell.
* If it appears in the New Yorker, you KNOW it’s true, because their fact-checking process is second-to-none. For purposes of this Talk of the Town item, a New Yorker fact-checker asked us: “Is it fair to say that you have ‘a boyish face’?” So presumably some recent Ivy League grad with literary aspirations had to ask Jonas Blank: “Do you consider yourself to be handsome?”
* This really could happen to anyone who uses public transportation. Seriously, slow down people — that extra 5 minutes isn’t going to tear off three of your fingers and half your palm, or turn you into a deserving-yet-questionable plaintiff. [Gothamist]
* I love it when the art world gets nasty. [New York Sun]
* Ethiopia knows a good thing when it sees it. Or does it just really hate that Red campaign? (I’m still wondering if any of those self-righteous celebs are able to locate any African country on a map.) [Legal Times]
* The face that launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Hope her self-esteem is in check, because the commentary is bound to be nastier than the comments to ATL’s “Hotties” contests. [QuizLaw; CNET]
* I don’t know who this is, but this happens way too much. For shame. [Yahoo! Sports]
* Maryland becomes the latest state to temporarily halt lethal injection executions, this time because of procedural issues with the way the lethal injection protocol was adopted. [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* Church burners expected to plead in Alabama [CNN]
* No good deed goes unpunished in Libya. [Jurist]
* First the minimum was too much, and now 10 years is not enough. Why doesn’t the appellate court just go ahead and sentence the child-renter?. [CNN]
* And in more bad parenting news…. [CNN ]
* Can an IP expert explain how it is legal for Blockbuster to use Netflix’s name in this promotion?
(And the promotion continues until December 24.) [PRNewswire - FirstCall via Yahoo! Finance]
* Chelsea Clinton’s boyfriend’s dad — putting a face to those Nigerian e-mail scams. [ABC News]
* I would feel safer opening up one of those “Cash Your Check Without ID” storefronts between an adult video store and a pawnshop than cashing someone else’s check. [Consumer Law and Policy]
* I, for one, would rather have the monkeys than the rats. But, and I quote the Delhi High Court: “If you can’t control the monkeys, what can you do?” [Red Orbit]
* It’s just law school, not re-education camp. But I feel kind of inspired — f**k corporate law, I’m reclaiming my dream of banishing styrofoam from the earth once and for all. [Concurring Opinions]
* “[P]rosecutors will be investigating the backdating of stock options by companies for ‘years to come.’” [WSJ Law Blog]
* “A state appeals court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit by a boy who wanted to compete on his high school’s girls’ gymnastics team.” [Sports Illustrated]
* Anna Nicole gets booted from another ex-boyfriend’s mansion. [CNN]
* DHS wants to know what you eat on the airplane… [CNN]
* … and your boss wants to know what your IMs say (e-discovery). [MSNBC]
* Emily Pataki, the attractive and accomplished daughter of New York governor George Pataki, failed the New York bar exam — and sent around an office-wide email about it. The story was broken by the mainstream media.
* We heard from some of Emily’s law school classmates about the incident. In a reader poll, you opined that emailing her White & Case colleagues was unwise.
* The Democratic takeover of the Senate could make things tough(er) for the White House’s judicial nominees.
* Despite the sea change in Washington, President Bush resubmitted six controversial judicial picks to the lame duck Senate. Getting all of them confirmed is probably impossible, but getting two of them through might happen.
* The White House has not yet submitted nominees for the two vacant Fifth Circuit seats. (Texas’s Solicitor General, conservative legal superstar R. Ted Cruz, is said to be uninterested.)
* Borat-related litigation shows nosigns of abating.
* O.J. Simpson: He’s back — and he’s still looking for his wife’s killer. Except this time, he’s looking in the mirror.
* Some bad ideas from the past week: getting frisky on an airplane; setting your ex-girlfriend’s kittens on fire; having sex with a deer (even if it’s dead); eating at Burger King or Taco Bell; and getting married without a prenup (if you’re a filthy rich Hollywood celebrity).
* Over the past few days, we’ve been spending some quality time with the Federalist Society. More reports on the proceedings — including lavish photography — will appear in the coming week.
Repeat after me: an office wide email is never, ever a good idea.
This advice, while generally sound, is slightly overbroad. We can think of at least one occasion when an office-wide email is appropriate.
When you leave a job, it’s perfectly appropriate to send around a farewell email to the entire office, if you are so inclined. You should talk about how much you enjoyed working there, thank your colleagues for a great experience, mention your future plans, and provide your contact information (if you wish).
Try to refrain from writing things like this:
While I have a high degree of personal respect for PHJW as a law firm, and I have made wonderful friendships during my time here, I am no longer comfortable working for a group largely populated by gossips, backstabbers and Napoleonic personalities. In fact, I dare say that I would rather be dressed up like a pinata and beaten than remain with this group any longer. I wish you continued success in your goals to turn vibrant, productive, dedicated associates into an aimless, shambling group of dry, lifeless husks.
Yep, that’s a quote from an actual good-bye email, which an ex-Paul Hastings associate sent to his former colleagues. You can read the complete email here.
This email is an old one. In the future, the next time you receive a scandalous or funny email message at work, please forward it to us (tips AT abovethelaw DOT com). We love to reprint such emails in these pages. Thanks! Paul, Hastings: “Gossips, Backstabbers and Napoleonic Personalities” [Gawker]
Both Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes have a “message recall” feature. Of course, it’s a bit late for Emily Pataki to invoke it, so as to retract the office-wide email she sent to her White & Case colleagues about failing the New York bar exam.
But if Emily agrees with the majority of you, she probably wishes she had never sent that e-mail. Here are the results of our ATL reader poll:
We’re a bit surprised at the tally; we expected the vote to be closer. We didn’t think so many of you would disapprove of her handling of the situation. But this is your verdict, for what it’s worth.
Maybe the best advice can be found in this reader comment: “Repeat after me: an office wide email is never, ever a good idea.” Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Emily Pataki (scroll down)
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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