Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Epic "Reply All" Fail

I'm a little behind on my blog reading obviously, so I missed Above the Law's post last week, "A Quinn Emanuel Partner's Lecherous 'Reply All'" and Jezebel's analysis of the ATL post, "Legal Blogger Attempts to Criticize Lechery, Ends Up Seeming Lecherous."

To make a long, kinda icky story short, a very nice temporary secretary in Quinn Emanuel's NYC office, 24th floor, sent 'round an email offering her services "if anyone needs paralegal/secretarial assistance."

That in itself is pretty cool, because how many of you have co-workers in your office that wouldn't tell a soul if they'd caught up on their work, and would work on their Pinterest account instead for the rest of the day?

But the response the temp got to her nice email, accidentally sent by a partner to the entire NYC office, allegedly says he admired her, um, initiative. That would've been okay, except he added, "...especially when you're in a tight dress."

Icky, yeah.


So the Internet brouhaha started over lechery and ogling in the office, sexual harassment, hostile work environments, and how men are generally pigs. All of which is wrong, wrong, wrong (not the brouhaha, but the bad behavior). No one should be made to feel uncomfortable at work.

Only the partner says the email wasn't meant for the secretary, and he wasn't even in the NYC office at the time. Someone else working on the 24th floor says the temporary secretary was wearing jeans, not a tight dress.

I'm hoping my NYC legal support staffer readers will tell me if they can really wear jeans to BigLaw firms. 

But I'm also hoping you guys will see that "Reply All" is the equivalent of a nuclear missile. With that button comes great power and great responsibility - or the opportunity to become an Internet cautionary tale.

Also, curious minds can't help but wonder, who was that partner's email meant for?

Sources:  Above the Law, Jezebel

4 comments:

  1. I have worked as a temp. It can be a very delicate position to be in...in terms of office politics. Those who have been working there for a while have an established rhythm and routine. Newcomers who are unaware of this routine, can often get their assigned work done more quickly. It is awful that this is how a query for more work was received and responded to.

    The lawyer's e-mail was simply too easy and irresistable to him.

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  2. Reply All - almost ALWAYS a bad idea. Wish email programs would hide it/make it difficult to select. But even if he replied to her privately, this was beyond inappropriate.

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  3. @Terri, I agree that this was a terrible response to another professional.

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  4. @Bev, it was beyond inappropriate. You've got to wonder why anyone, especially a lawyer, would email such a thing to a staffer.

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