Lighter Side: Merry Christmas, you’re fired

by NZ Lawyer12 Dec 2014
He may be a regular on the National Law Journal’s list of the 100 most influential lawyers in America, but if there was a list of top Christmas Grinches, this managing partner would surely make that one too.

At first glance, a leaked internal memo written by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro managing partner Steve Berman on the eve of Thanksgiving looked like it would contain the normal happy Christmas and safe New Year wishes.

But upon clicking on the subject line: “its [sic] year end”, associates were met with a nasty surprise.

According to legal website Above the Law, the email read:

“I am doing year end stuff and find that some timekeepers don’t have large blocks of time recorded. so I can’t do some of the planning I was going to do. Anyone who has more than a week of time not in by close of business Monday will be dismissed from the firm Tuesday am.”

Some joke the email may-as-well have said: “season’s greetings, now please go f*** yourself”, or “happy f****** holidays!”.

Above the Law reported that the disgruntled informant who leaked the email summed it up, simply commenting: “Happy Holidays! Geesh!!! What a prick!”  

Even more reason for a legal revolution against the dreaded billable hour?


  • by Ashley Balls 12/12/2014 5:10:27 p.m.

    I take it Steve Berman will be using his message as supporting evidence for his claim to be the 'employer of choice award' for 2014. Clearly 'sensitivity' is not his middle name. To be serious though this kind of communication is sufficiently poorly thought out and executed that now it is in the public domain it has the capacity to measurably damage the firm. This is definitely a fail for 'Marketing 101'.

  • by Ken 18/12/2014 1:56:08 p.m.

    I actually found it kind of refreshing. No law firm or corporate employer is capable of loving you back so while you always give your best in any job always keep in mind you are just a number and you can be replaced at any time and if something better comes along you will in turn dump them. And so the world turns.