Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What the Law World is Buzzing About

Just about every lawyer I know has been talking about the following email exchange between two Boston lawyers. Interestingly, not everyone takes the side I would have thought. So here is the exchange between Dianna Abdala and William Korman.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dianna Abdala [ dabdala@msn.com ]
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 9:23 PM
To: wak@kormanlaw.com
Subject: Thank you

Dear Attorney Korman,

At this time, I am writing to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer.

After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the pay you are offering would neither fulfill me nor support the lifestyle I am living in light of the work I would be doing for you.

I have decided instead to work for myself, and reap 100% of the benefits that I sew.

Thank you for the interviews.

Dianna L. Abdala, Esq

(Ed.-Probably not the most elequent way to say that, and it is sow, not sew.)

----- Original Message -----
From: William A. Korman
To: 'Dianna Abdala'
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 12:15 PM
Subject: RE: Thank you

Dianna -

Given that you had two interviews, were offered and accepted the job (indeed, you had a definite start date), I am surprised that you chose an e-mail and a 9:30 PM voicemail message to convey this information to me. It smacks of immaturity and is quite unprofessional. Indeed, I did rely upon your acceptance by ordering stationery and business cards with your name, reformatting a computer and setting up both internal and external e-mails for you here at the office. While I do not quarrel with your reasoning, I am extremely disappointed in the way this played out. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

- Will Korman

(Ed.- A little whiny perhaps, but there is some justification for that given the short notice.)


-----Original Message-----
From: Dianna Abdala [ dabdala@msn.com]
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:01 PM
To: William A. Korman
Subject: Re: Thank you

A real lawyer would have put the contract into writing and not exercised any such reliance until he did so.

Again, thank you.

(Ed.-When was the last time you recieved a formal written offer for a job. Even lawyers don't +do that for entry level positions.)

----- Original Message -----
From: William A. Korman
To: 'Dianna Abdala'
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: Thank you

Thank you for the refresher course on contracts. This is not a bar exam question. You need to realize that this is a very small legal community, especially the criminal defense bar. Do you really want to start pissing off more experienced lawyers at this early stage of your career?

(Ed.-Snarky, but appropriate)


-----Original Message-----
From: Dianna Abdala [ dabdala@msn.com]
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:29 PM
To: William A. Korman
Subject: Re: Thank you

bla bla bla

(Ed.-You have got to be kidding me. And isn't it blah, blah, blah?)


Korman then forwards the email, which solicits this response:
-----Original Message-----
From: David Breen [ dbreen@bu.edu]
Sent: Friday, February 10,
2006 9:47 AM
To: 'William A. Korman'
Subject: RE: Thank
you

OH MY GOD!Where to begin?First of all, how unprofessional, and secondly, it is "reap what you 'sow,'" now "sew". If she is going to use a cliche, couldn't she at least spell it right?

And WTF is with her "blab la bla"? Does she not read your e-mail about it being a small community?! So, finally, can I forward this along to some folks? I am sure they would love to see how the up-and-coming lawyers are comporting themselves! (Clearly she did not go to BU!!!)
Meanwhile this exchange has been rocketing around the legal world. Massachusetts Lawyer Weekly even did a story on it that fills in some of the details.

The lesson of course is that email is just like everything else written and sent to someone -- don't send it unless you would like to see it on the front page of the New York Times. (And for the record, and in case you couldn't tell, I am in the Korman camp.)
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