Rookie Mistake

Rookie Mistake
September 2, 2011

Maureen Martin

Maureen Martin passed away on February 5, 2013. The Heartland Institute's page in tribute to her... (read full bio)

“After conquering Silicon Valley” during a 15-year high-tech career, a former software engineer went to law school and took a job with a big New York City firm. He lasted less than a year.

First, he refused to do mundane legal work routinely assigned to first-year lawyers. Then, with time on his hands even though he “immediately began doing superlative work” at the firm, he sent an e-mail to 12 partners at the firm. It said:

“I am writing to see if you have any small cases I could manage for you. It has become clear that the only limiting factor on how much value I am to a case is how much responsibility I am given: the more responsibility I am given, the better the outcome. I am in kind of an uncomfortable position at the firm because although I am a ‘first year,’ I have 15 years business and real world experience, as much as many senior associates. When I first got here I did not know what to expect, but after working here for several months now it has become clear that I have as much experience and ability as an associate many years my senior, as much skill writing, and a superior legal mind to most I have met.”

Not surprisingly, the associate was fired. Also not surprisingly, he’s now suing the firm for $77 million.

Source: David Lat, “Lawsuit of the Day: Ex-Kasowitz Associate With ‘Superior Legal Mind’ Sues the Firm for $77 Million,” above the law, August 17, 2011

Maureen Martin

Maureen Martin passed away on February 5, 2013. The Heartland Institute's page in tribute to her... (read full bio)