Tuesday, May 26, 2009

'Reply All' Threatens Career

From ABA Journal:
Observers are openly wondering how long an unidentified first-year associate at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges will hold his job, after reading a jaw-dropping e-mail thread. It began with a partner's standard-issue firmwide proclamation of victory on Friday in a federal court case involving the trademark rights of the Washington Redskins.
Responding in a series of lengthy e-mails, the associate questioned the morality of the firm's representation of a football team named in a manner that is offensive to a number of Americans—and, after discussing the perceived issue in detail, apparently hit the "reply all" key. This prompted another partner, in response to the associate's response, to question not only the associate's judgment but his writing skills, according to copies of the e-mails posted on Above the Law.
The Los Angeles-based litigation firm represents clients, not causes, writes one unnamed partner in defense of Robert Raskopf in one of the e-mails, and would have gladly won the case for opposing party, had Quinn Emanuel been hired to do so. The associate would do well to avoid indiscriminate use of the "reply all" function in the future the partner says. And additionally, the partner suggests, the associate should "note the lack of any parentheses in this e-mail. It makes it much easier to read."
Contacted by ATL for comment about what the law blog describes as an awesome thread, the associate says "I'm sorry if I worked through it in too public a manner" and describes Quinn Emanuel as "a cool firm with smart, nice and chill lawyers. Honestly."
ATL redacted names from the memos and posted this warning to commenters, "Please don't disclose identities in the comments or we will ban you from the wagon."
Raskopf and the firm did not immediately respond to the ABA Journal's requests for comment.

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