Email Scandals

Volkswagen Fahrvergnügen Porsche Above the Law blog.jpg* Some Fahrvergnügen for Porsche, courtesy of the European Court of Justice. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* Surprise surprise: a Yale law professor has issues with Michael Mukasey. Professor (and novelist) Jed Rubenfeld questions the nominee’s views of executive power. [New York Times via WSJ Law Blog]
* If confirmed, Mukasey has his work cut out for him. “Clearly the Justice Department has lost its mojo,” said WilmerHale partner Reginald Brown. [Legal Times]
* Obama criticizes Hillary in Iowa mailing. [Politico via Drudge Report]
* A (very close) vote is expected this week on Leslie Southwick’s Fifth Circuit nomination.
[Fox News via How Appealing]
Additional links, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Morning Docket: 10.23.07″

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgThat’s the debate currently raging in the Los Angeles office of Skadden. It was triggered by some exuberant, multicolored emails from a Gay Colleague, promoting the Skadden LA AIDS Walk team.
From the delicious (but sporadically updated) Skadden Insider:

[T]he e-mails weren’t well received by everyone because “they are pretty aggressive and unprofessional. Just the tone of voice, the five thousand colors, the naming of names of who contributed and who didn’t.”

Our source continued: “And of course, some ignorant fools are going around saying, “I don’t go around calling myself the ‘straight associate’! Anyway, it was pretty funny. It was a gay gay gay Friday.”

Check out the full post, which reprints the (literally) colorful email, over here.
And read about another instance of public shaming at Skadden, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Skadden Gays: Out and Proud, or Tacky and Loud?”

email e-mail message microsoft outlook Above the Law.jpgLast week, USA Today ran an article about “Email-Free Fridays” or “Zero Email Fridays.” Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal ran pretty much the same article.
But it’s an interesting piece, and it relates to an issue that many of us confront: email overload. The problem is especially acute for lawyers at large law firms, but it’s not limited to their ranks.
From the WSJ:

A growing number of employers, including U.S. Cellular, Deloitte & Touche and Intel, are imposing or trying out “no email” Fridays or weekends. While the bans typically allow emailing clients and customers or responding to urgent matters, the normal flow of routine internal email is halted. Violators are hit with token fines, or just called out by the boss.

The limits aim to encourage more face-to-face and phone contact with customers and co-workers, raise productivity or just give employees a reprieve from the ever-rising email tide. Emails sent by individual corporate users are projected to increase 27% this year, to an average of 47 a day, up from 37 in 2006…. And one-third of users feel stressed by heavy email volume, according to a 2007 study…. Many check email as often as 30 to 40 times an hour, the study showed.

Managers complain that rather than confronting problems, employees use email to avoid them by passing issues back and forth in long message strings, like a hot potato. Email reduces face-to-face contact among co-workers and clients; terse, poorly phrased messages further strain those relationships. And it is spilling into weekends, chaining employees to computers when they should be relaxing.

So, are email-free Fridays a brilliant idea? Or is this policy just not feasible? Take our poll:


P.S. We’re hopelessly behind in our email. After we deal with a message, we file or delete it, leaving only pending items in our inbox. Right now our inbox contains 2,471 pending items.
Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of email we receive, we can’t respond personally to every message. If your email does require a response, and you haven’t heard from us for a while, please email us again, by way of friendly reminder. Or here’s a novel concept: try calling!
Fridays go from casual to e-mail-free [USA Today]
A Day Without Email Is Like… [Wall Street Journal]

Tomorrow is a very big day for almost 20 California lawyers. From Blogonaut:

Qualcomm Qualcom Above the Law blog.jpgA federal district court has ordered 14 California lawyers to explain why they should not be sanctioned for their “exceptional misconduct” on behalf of Qualcomm in a lawsuit that the San Diego wireless company lost. All of the lawyers subject to the order were from the Cupertino law firm of Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder or the Heller Ehrman law firm’s offices in Menlo Park and San Diego, the San Diego Tribune is reporting.

Five additional lawyers have been drawn into the proceedings since the order was issued, so the fate of 19 attorneys rests on the outcome of an October 12, 2007, 9:30 a.m. hearing before U.S. Magistrate Barbara Major, the newspaper reports.

We previously wrote about the underlying discovery snafu over here.
Both Heller Ehrman and Day Casebeer have been the subject of gossip recently. Last month, Heller Ehrman was rumored to be carrying out staff layoffs in California (believed to affect up to 90 people). If you know anything about this, please email us.
Update: Oops, sorry, don’t know how we missed this article from The Recorder, reporting on Heller axing 65 administrative staff positions nationwide. No attorneys were laid off.
As for Day Casebeer, rumor had it that they were rescinding offers to incoming associates. But it appears that this was inaccurate, as rumors sometimes are. When we contacted the firm, they had this comment:

We are delighted that eight new associates will join us this Fall and that two have already started work. It’s a record class for us. Far from rescinding any offers, we remain very interested in resumes from others interested in joining our practice.

Especially if you’re experienced in electronic data discovery.
Federal Court Brings Written Charges of “Exceptional Misconduct” Against 14 Lawyers [Blogonaut]
19 lawyers face sanction hearing [San Diego Union-Tribune]
Recovered Emails Bedevil Qualcomm in Court [Wall Street Journal]
Heller Says Slowdown Not Behind Layoffs [The Recorder via Law.com]
Earlier: Benchslap of the Day: The Qualcomm Debacle

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgThis firm-wide email was sent out by Skadden Executive Partner Robert C. Sheehan about 15 minutes ago:

From: Robert Sheehan
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 11:50 AM
To: EVERYONE EUROPE DL; EVERYONE NORTH AMERICA DL; EVERYONE PACIFIC RIM DL
Subject: Another Milestone

MEMORANDUM

October 11, 2007

TO: All Personnel

FROM: Bob Sheehan

RE: Another Milestone

Sometime in the last few days our contingent of attorneys passed the 2,000 mark. This is a remarkable achievement for any firm, but for one established not so very long ago (e.g., I was the 30th attorney here when I arrived in 1969), it is an indicator of astounding success.

Congratulations to all of us, past and present, for helping to make Skadden, Arps the success that we have become. Special thanks go to Messrs. Skadden, Arps and Slate for their decision to form the Firm on April 1, 1948 and for the decision to hire Joe Flom as their first associate later that year.

Two thousand souls, fed into the billable-hours machine that is Skadden. But accredited U.S. law schools graduate over 40,000 students a year, some of whom have souls, so there’s still room for growth.
Onward and upward, SASMF!!!
Update: We’ve just learned that Mr. Sheehan went to our alma mater, Regis High School. Deo et Patriae — et Skadden!

email e-mail message microsoft outlook Above the Law.jpgIn case you’ve forgotten, this week is still Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. It has been a big hit, as reflected in both site traffic and the number of reader comments on posts. If you don’t like this theme — if, for example, you see it as patronizing or degrading (which is not our intention; our coverage is partly tongue-in-cheek, poking fun at the ridiculous elitism of the legal profession) — then come back next week.
Still here? Okay. On this week’s theme, a reader sent us this inquiry:

Whatever happened to Diana “bla bla bla” Abdala? You should post an APB to figure out what happened.

If you don’t remember the infamous Dianna Abdala, a graduate of Suffolk University School of Law (Tier 3), then refresh your recollection over here.
So, does anyone know what Ms. Abdala might be up to these days? If so, we’d love to hear from you (in the comments, or by email). Thanks.
P.S. We usually omit the names of people who commit Abdala-esque career suicide gaffes. But since she is all over the internets, with her very own Wikipedia entry, we figure this cat is already out of the bag.
P.P.S. The high number of Google results associated with Dianna Abdala makes it harder to find out what she’s up to these days. We were too lazy to look past the first 10 (of over 10,000) Google hits associated with her name. Hence this post.
We Reap The Emails That You Sew [WSJ Law Blog]
Dianna L. Abdala [Wikipedia]

Wayne State University Law School Above the Law blog.jpgThis email exchange is rapidly making the rounds. It doesn’t rise to the level of Dianna Abdala, but it’s not bad — and perfectly suitable for a slow Friday afternoon.
The tipster who sent it to us introduced it as follows:

This is pretty funny. It goes to show you that tier four students are just as entitled and obnoxious as their tier one counterparts!

Here’s the first email, from a student at Wayne State University Law School (who shall remain nameless; please keep him that way):

From: [redacted]
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 9:05 AM
To: [Partner at four-person law firm]
Subject: Interview?
Sir, let me begin by noting that I understand your time is very valuable
and I anticipate that your work day is very hectic. However, my time is
valuable to me and sitting at the interview location waiting for you has
resulted in a fantastic waste of a potentially productive Friday
morning.
I was very interested in your firm. I believe that there are many ways
of becoming a good lawyer, and felt that employment at your firm would
be one of them. Though I find myself being pushed in the direction of
the large firms as a result of my grades, I had high hopes that getting
involved in a smaller and yet equally productive camp would be the best
fit for me. Sadly, it seems that I will not find out if my suspicions
were correct.
I realize I am just an naive law student in your eyes but I assure you
sir that a day will come when I command a level of respect that would
make [sic] idea of standing me up unimaginable. As I was your first interview
this morning I feel that a phone call was in order from your end. Good
luck with the rest of your interviews.
Sincerely,
[redacted]

Right now you might be thinking, “Good for you, Wayne State Guy! Just because you go to a Tier Four doesn’t mean you can be jerked around.”
But the truth turns out to be more complex. Read the partner’s response, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Tier Four Law Students: They Can Be Pissy Bitches, Too”

Managhan Kortum Managhan Law Firm Above the Law blog.jpgIn case you missed this story from last week, here’s a recap. Earlier this month, a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Montana by the name of William Managhan sent out the following email, to the entire Montana Trial Lawyers Association:

From: William L. Managhan
To: Montana Trial Lawyers
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2007 6:32 PM
Subject: [mtla_members_all] Firm Name Change

Managhan & Kortum-Managhan Law Firm will no longer be known as such. The name is returning to Managhan Law Firm as Santana Kortum-Managhan is leaving the firm. Turns out that she was having sex with Tim McKeon of Anaconda while attending MMLP hearings in Helena.

Call me silly but I no longer fill [sic] comfortable with her as my law partner or wife. Some will think this is an inappropriate announcement, but considering the small legal community in our state, I might as well preempt the roomer mill [sic]. Please address communication to William L. Managhan through Managhan Law Firm.

More discussion, including accounts of our telephone conversations with Bobbi Bonnington and Tim of Anaconda, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Update on the Managhan Law Firm (aka ‘My Wife Is Sleeping Around and That’s Why We’re No Longer Law Partners’)”

Managhan Kortum Managhan Law Firm Above the Law blog.jpgA fantastic and hilarious email, announcing a name change for a Montana law firm, has been making the rounds. We’d like to reprint it here, but we’ll refrain for now. Instead, read the email and commentary on it here and here.
We have no reason to question the authenticity of the email (which apparently went out to the entire membership of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association). But we haven’t verified it definitively either. And we’d like to give William Managhan and Santana Kortum-Managhan the chance to comment, given the salacious nature of the material. How do they fill about all the roomers?
Accordingly, we have phone calls and emails in to the Managhan Law Firm (whose typo-laden website still identifies it as the “Managhan & Kortum-Managhan Law Firm”). We will let you know if and when we hear back from them.
Update (7 PM): We have been communicating with Bobbi Bonnington via email. We hope to have more information for you soon.
A comedic tidbit…courtesy of Montana [The Amateur Law Professor]
Firm Name Change [The Legal Scoop]

Florence maid Jeffersons Marla Gibbs Above the Law blog.jpgThis email exchange, between two law students at Washington University Law, took place late last month. It’s reminiscent of that Greenberg Traurig email exchange from the other day — which, in our book, is high praise.
Some background, from our tipster:

I’m an avid reader of ATL. Although I don’t see much law school coverage on your site, I thought you might find this email string between a couple Washington University in St. Louis law students amusing.

Note that the email string starts as a solicitation sent to the entire school, marketing a washer/dryer for sale. The proceeding communications are also copied to the ENTIRE school of law (including professors, deans, etc.).

Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “And No, She Doesn’t Do Windows”

Page 19 of 221...1516171819202122