Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Making an Impression

Having worked at large firms most of my professional life, I'm always interested when a large firm gets sued by one of its former counsel, since the claims typically reveal much about how lawyers manage their own.
But sometimes a lawsuit reveals as much about the departed attorney as about the firm itself.
Such is the case with a recent filing in New York against Kasowitz Benson, Torres & Friedman. According to this report, a formerly employed associate, Gregory Berry, a software engineer and entrepreneur in a previous life who worked at the firm for only eight months, is suing for wrongful termination, and claiming the firm misrepresented its corporate culture and working conditions when it hired him.
I can't say anything for the firm's culture, but part of the complaint filed by the former associate definitely gave some insight into his culture. Specifically, Berry indicates that he had a run-in with a senior partner after sending an e-mail around the office seeking work and stating that his past experience as an engineer made him far more valuable than a normal first-year associate. Compounding his self-assessment, Berry then stated that it was clear to him that he had as much experience and ability as an associate many years his senior, as much skill writing, and a "superior legal mind" to most of the associates he encountered.
Well. If that doesn't have partners beating a path to your door for the opportunity to work with you, I don't know what will. Yikes.
We will keep our thumb on the pulse of this particular case, if for no other reason than the summary judgment motions ought to contain some further entertaining revelations about the plaintiff's talents.

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