Ahh, McDonald’s, the fast food that dreams and early onset diabetes diagnoses are made of.
Imagine heading to the local Mickey D’s to order your usual meal — a Deluxe Quarter Pounder — and looking down with dismay to find that you’ve only received one napkin. There’s simply no way you’ll be able to wipe the grease from a quarter pound of juicy beef from your face with only one napkin. You step up to the counter to ask for more, but you’re refused, and handed only a side of racism.
This is what one California man alleges in a $1.5 million lawsuit, and because being shamed by McDonald’s is a hefty burden to bear, he’s been unable to work ever since.
Ba-da-ba-ba-baaa, this guy was not lovin’ it — at all…
No, not in the way you think. I’m not talking about E-tickets and giant bow-tied mice and screaming, overtired kids being dragged around by the half-crazed parents determined to get their money’s worth. (“Have fun, dammit! Have fun!”) I mean in the way that the company, Walt Disney, creates a consistently positive and memorable experience year round for people from all over the world.
Whatever your impressions or memories of Disney World, most people agree that the company’s ability to make people happy is unrivaled. Executives and managers from companies in every industry pay thousands of dollars to study how the company does it at the Disney Institute. And the Institute even published a book on how to Disneyify your company called Be Our Guest. You can get the book at Amazon for about ten bucks; I recommend it.
So what can your law firm do to create the kind of world-class service that Mickey would be proud of? Let’s discuss….
* It would probably be good if I had heard of more than a handful of the 34 most influential lawyers in the United States. Now this is going to turn into a Pokémon-esque game for me. [National Law Journal]
* Instead of fighting over App Stores, BigLaw, and SmallLaw, shouldn’t tech innovators be innovating instead? Because seriously, who fights over generic trademarks? That’s so SmallLaw. [New York Times]
* Bret Michaels suffered the horrors of the STD-laden Rock of Love Bus without injury, yet Broadway gave him a brain hemorrhage. Go figure. I guess every rose really does have its thorn. [Reuters]
* Speaking of buses, lawsuits seeking a total of $220 million have been filed in the wake of the World Wide Tours crash. On the bright side, the odds here will likely be better than playing the Mohegan Sun slots. [Sify News]
* A severely disabled mother was granted visitation time with her kids. If Terri Schiavo was alive today, she would have blinked with happiness after learning about this precedential decision. [Huffington Post]
* Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. Oops! McDonald’s, you forgot the public masturbation — but I guess that’s the special sauce. [Orlando Sentinel]
* Some “real housewives” of New Jersey are suing Campbell’s over salty soup. Let’s get real here: New Jersey housewives don’t know how to cook. Using the microwave doesn’t count. [Star-Ledger]
* Here’s a list of America’s Worst Bosses for 2010. Shocker: some of them are lawyers. [eBossWatch]
* Is this a legal and/or fair way to get a flaking eBay auction winner to pay up? Maybe all is fair in love and war e-commerce — although that approach didn’t work out well for Vitaly Borker. [Reddit via Consumerist]
* Filing a lawsuit against McDonald’s over Happy Meals makes me sad — and Walter Olson mad. (Disclosure: I once worked at McDonald’s.) [New York Daily News]
* Speaking of delicious things — and readers, please note my use of “delicious” to refer to food — how do you overcome the “cupcake challenge”? A panel of experts, including my law school classmate, Georgia state legislator Stacey Abrams, tackled this question in a panel discussion at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. [The ChamberPost]
* Single D.C. lawyers, there’s still time to entrust your love life to Kashmir Hill. We have many responses, but there’s gender imbalance right now. Kash needs men — please help! [Above the Law]
As former employees and occasional patrons of McDonald’s, we weren’t exactly “lovin’ it” when we read about this lawsuit:
Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Todd Haley, his wife Christine, and the family’s au pair, Kathryn Kelley, have sued a Southlake, Texas, McDonald’s.
[They allege that] the wife and nanny took home a salad, began to eat it, and discovered one of mankind’s little benefactors lying on its back, eyes open, expired.
Yep, that’s right: they found a dead rat in their salad. So who’s ready for lunch?
Instead of just removing the rat, drizzling on some extra dressing, and forging ahead, the Haleys decided to file a lawsuit:
“Chrissy and Katy have become ill and have been completely shocked,” the suit states. “Chrissy and Katy are so completely repulsed and disgusted with having a rodent in their McDonald’s salad that they now have great difficulty eating any prepared foods. Rather, they now prefer to prepare their foods from scratch…”
[E]ven in death, the rat performs a humanitarian service, shocking the women into a healthier way of eating, probably adding years to their lives. How do they respond? By asking McDonald’s to cough up $1.7 million…
[The complaint alleges:] “When the ladies see food, for the most part, they re-live the rodent-in-the-McDonald’s salad horror, and their extreme nausea rises again … A dead rodent in food being eaten causes a distress and trauma level not encountered elsewhere in a dining experience.”
Obviously, Mr. Casterline is not familiar with the dining experience provided by some of our finer Cerrillos Road establishments.
We agree. After all, health inspection reports show that rat droppings are more common than white truffles in the kitchens of America’s top restaurants.
One-point-seven million, for finding a deceased rodent in your salad, strikes us as a bit over-the-top. Maybe they’re entitled to a free large fries. Maybe.
We have previously expressed our disapproval of outsized damage demands in food contamination cases. For $1.7 million, you should actually have to EAT the rat — not just discover it “in food being eaten,” lying there and minding its own business. $1.7 Million Is a Lot of Lettuce [The Santa-Fe New Mexican] Earlier: Lawsuit of the Day: Shouldn’t This Be a Class Action?
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
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: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
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