My Shingle

Be the One Who Says Stop

by Carolyn Elefant on February 19, 2006 · 2 comments

in Ethics & Malpractice Issues, Mistakes/What NOT To Do

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Did this lawyer really need to accuse a judge of extortion?  Did this young lawyer really need to express sarcasm and disrespect in an email turning down a job offer? And did this hiring attorney need to respond by forwarding her email (apparently without redacting her name) to third parties? Why don’t lawyers realize that sometimes they need to be the ones to say stop?

Is having the last word really so important that you’re willing to risk sanction by the bar or ruining your reputation?  Some battles are worth engagement, but most, especially those where you’re personally involved, aren’t.  That’s a lesson that I was fortunate enough to have learned long ago in law school, at a time when it didn’t matter (maybe some day I’ll post the details); I’m always surprised to see that so many of my colleagues haven’t.

  • http://www.djillpugh.typepad.com Jill Pugh

    Thank you!! A friend of mine forwarded me the email from the new attorney in Boston. At first I couldn’t believe it was anything other than a hoax or urban legend. The exchange was disturbing, but I think I was even more disturbed that it turned into national (international) news, and no one saw any problem with forwarding the email exchange whole cloth, no redacting of names!

  • http://www.djillpugh.typepad.com Jill Pugh

    Thank you!! A friend of mine forwarded me the email from the new attorney in Boston. At first I couldn’t believe it was anything other than a hoax or urban legend. The exchange was disturbing, but I think I was even more disturbed that it turned into national (international) news, and no one saw any problem with forwarding the email exchange whole cloth, no redacting of names!

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