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Tales of Captain Queeg-like partners are as old as the legal profession itself. But is it really a common occurrence for associates to feel partners are abusive? Not really. Just 20% of 7,100 associates surveyed recently by The American Lawyer reported experiencing or witnessing abuse by partners. With the market for legal talent so competitive, partners recognize that associate retention depends on keeping mistreatment to a minimum. “I get a recruiter call every day, and they know it,” said an associate at New York-based Shearman & Sterling. But all is not sweetness and light. A midlevel at Houston’s Baker Botts reported that a partner locked himself in a small room with two associates for nine hours and chain-smoked while he watched them review documents. And an associate at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in New York said that a partner brought a summer associate to tears by e-mailing her work to other partners, noting that it was for their “amusement, not edification.” � The American Lawyer Mommie dearest An Indiana woman was sentenced to 30 days in jail for claiming in court that she was her son’s wife. Christopher Crowe, 25, was in court to plead guilty to felony counts including residential entry and domestic battery. The judge asked if Crowe’s wife agreed with the plea deal. His mother, 47-year-old Rebecca Crowe, stood up, said she was the wife and said that the agreement was OK. A prosecutor discovered Rebecca Crowe’s identity when she saw a picture of the actual, much younger, wife. Courtroom personnel later admitted they thought the woman looked too old. � Associated Press

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