Legal Mean Streets


I had just lateraled over to a major firm in a new city.  One day I receive a call from a partner asking me to come to his office, and to bring the “Acme” file.  When I get there, he says, “Walk with me.” I assume we’re on another Starbucks run “meeting.” Instead, we get to the curb, and he has a car and driver waiting.  We’re going over to meet with a client.

I made like a potted fern, as they expect me to do, and took notes.  At the end of the meeting, which was past the close of business, partner and I depart client’s office.  Partner tells me that he’s going to have the car take him home.  I blink.  It’s dark.  It’s winter.  I don’t have a coat.  I don’t have a purse.  Or any money.  Or ID.  I didn’t expect to leave the office that afternoon.  I don’t even know where I am.  I’m in a skirt suit and heels.  I don’t have a cell phone.  I’m a woman, alone after dark in an unfamiliar city without a dime or a can of pepper spray.

So I walk, for what seems like hours, past what seems like a frighteningly large collection of nefarious denizens of the night, gathering to do me harm.  And discover, to my relief, that I have put my subway fare card in my suit pocket that morning.  So, if I can find a subway station, I can at least get back to the office.

An hour later, heels blistered, palms sweaty, I return to the safety of my office.  Where the partner has had his secretary leave a stack of documents to be privilege reviewed by morning.

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15 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    September 19, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Why didn’t this dame speak up and tell the partner all of this before he drove off?  That’s the real problem.  Some women don’t speak up when they should, and later blabber all over the place how assholeish the partner was.  I agree the partner was an ass for doing this, but this dame should have spoken up and had the partner drive her back, since she didn’t have anything with her (car, cellphone, ID, money etc).  Any dame that is any good knows when to open her mouth and when to keep it shut.  I don’t have any sympathy for a dame that does not know when to open her mouth.  It works the same way in the sack.

  2. dame

    September 19, 2008 at 5:42 am

    Dame? What is this, a 1930’s film noir? Use updated and non-dismissive language.

  3. Anon

    September 19, 2008 at 5:44 am

    This is truly appalling. The fact that associates put up with this bullshit, regardless of salary, is alarming. In my book dignity trumps prestige.

  4. curious

    September 19, 2008 at 7:03 am

    couldn’t you call a car service to take you back to your office? maybe your partner assumed you knew how to order a car?

  5. Yep.

    September 19, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Curious calls it.  The is not even remotely in the same league as someone interrupting a vacation, etc.  You should have called a car, or a cab, or something, or asked the partner to have the car take you home as well.

  6. Brett

    September 19, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Well, with no cell phone or wallet, how was one to call a car service?  Hit up a random person for a few quarters for the pay phone and hope she remembers the number off the top of her head?  I agree with the fact that she should have grabbed some ovaries and said something instead of being silent.  And who says dame that many times in a post?  Broad is such a better term.

  7. curious

    September 19, 2008 at 9:11 am

    even if her blackberry doesn’t function as a cell phone, emailing her office to order a car doesn’t seem too hard to figure out, or maybe it was.  stepping back in to the client’s office to make a phone call may have been a good idea as well. i can identify with several of the abusive stories on this blog but i have little sympathy for someone with no common sense.

  8. Anon

    September 19, 2008 at 9:46 am

    What she didn’t do is not the issue here. The issue is what the PARTNER DIDN’T do. That is, he didn’t act reasonably. Can many of you honestly say that if you took an employee somewhere you would leave them to get back on their own? Come on. This guy should be fired. He’s a prick. An inconsiderate cock sucker. Period.
    Sure, she shouldn’t have left without her belongings, but many of you seem to want to shift the blame to her. Said partner is clearly more negligent, and if I knew him I would punch him in the face and bang his wife.

  9. Anon

    September 19, 2008 at 9:47 am

    What she didn’t do is not the issue here. The issue is what the PARTNER DIDN’T do. That is, he didn’t act reasonably. Can many of you honestly say that if you took an employee somewhere you would leave them to get back on their own? Come on. This guy should be fired. He’s a prick. An inconsiderate douchebag. Period.
    Sure, she shouldn’t have left without her belongings, but many of you seem to want to shift the blame to her. Said partner is clearly more negligent, and if I knew him I would punch him in the face and bang his wife.

  10. Alma Federer

    September 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I think the woman here is naive.  She could simply have gone back into the office and called her firm and asked them to send a car for her, just like the partner had.  Yes she would have had to wait, but she would have been safe inside.  I think the woman needs a lesson in common sense.

  11. Anon

    September 23, 2008 at 11:16 am

    In any service industry it’s your job to be psychic and anticipate the needs and eccentricities of your boss or client.  Why?  Because if you can’t, someone who can will take your job.  Have you seen The Devil Wears Prada?  The business world isn’t about right and wrong, it’s about who is of most use to the people with money.

  12. Anonymous

    September 24, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    These stories are just too cute to be true. No person in thier right mind would stay quiet in a situation like that. I call BS.

  13. Former Associate

    September 25, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Seriously, grow up.  At some point it became clear that you were going to a meeting.  Or you could have asked where you were walking to.  A partner isn’t your parent.

  14. Anonymous

    September 26, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Your right.  This website must be writing up their own material.  If not, the associate in question would not be able to tell a cucumber from her partner’s member, and would not be able to make out a prima facie case for fraud in the factum/rectum.

  15. Anonymous

    October 26, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Actually, I have heard of something like this happening to others (in this case support staff). Called without explanation to a board room to bring something, then told to accompany the lawyer to court and not being allowed to return to her desk to get a coat (“There’s no time!”) in the middle of winter. Forced to go to the court, then afterwards told to go run some other errand via public transit – but not having a purse or a coat and being expressly told she could not return to the office to get either! The lawywer simply called out loud: “Does anyone have any change, my assistant doesn’t have any money.” Nice.

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