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BEWARE OF “REPLY TO ALL” Firms have always had disgruntled associates. But a disgruntled associate with an e-mail account can create a publicity nightmare, as Washington, D.C.’s Howrey Simon Arnold & White discovered last week. In the morning, every partner and associate in the firm’s D.C. office received a virulent and lengthy e-mail blaming poor management for rampant associate defections. By noon, the e-mail was all over town. The missive’s unnamed author — purportedly a former Howrey associate — complains of dull work, a lack of communication from managers, and unfair compensation. Managing partner Robert Ruyak says he has a good idea who sent the e-mail, which he calls unfair, ridiculous, and largely inaccurate. “A lot of the concepts in the e-mail could be said about any large firm,” Ruyak notes. Associate attrition is not a problem unique to Howrey. Still, some associates perceive their firm to have more than the usual number of departures. According to management, the firm has lost 20 associates, or about 15 percent, since January. Normal attrition, says one recruiter, is 15 percent to 20 percent for an entire year. Reaction to the e-mail was mixed. Recruiting partner Richard Ripley called a meeting with summer associates. “I don’t mind talking about the challenges we face,” he says. “Personally, I thought there were some shots taken that were very hurtful.” From Legal Times NO BIG SHOTS IN JERSEY By the National Law Journal’s reckoning, the New Jersey lawyers with huge national influence are … nobody. Not one attorney who practices in New Jersey was in the glittering array of movers and mavens listed June 12 in the Law Journal’s triennial report on America’s 100 most powerful practitioners. The only attorney close to New Jersey was criminal lawyer Theodore Wells Jr. He was on the list in previous years when he was a partner in Roseland, N.J.’s Lowenstein Sandler and he’s on the list again, but now he practices at New York’s Paul Weiss. Besides mentioning Wells’ record of winning acquittals of indicted public officials, the Law Journal noted that he was national treasurer for Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign. New Jersey shouldn’t feel bad that none of its legal lights is Top-100-worthy. Most states have nobody, and if one New Jersey lawyer had somehow wandered onto the list — such as by increasing firm profits 50 percent or humbling Microsoft — he or she would still have been outnumbered three-to-one by the partners in Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who made it. From The New Jersey Law Journal WORKING FOR OTHERS Looking for a way to share their 100th anniversary celebration, employees of the Boston law firm Goulston & Storrs decided to emphasize the word “share.” About two-thirds of the firm will board buses bound for a dozen community program sites in the greater Boston area for the firm’s “Centennial Service Day.” Most employees will spend the day stocking food bank shelves, refurbishing facilities for victims of domestic violence, cleaning up public parks, or sprucing up a camp for disabled children. “We were contemplating ways to celebrate our centennial and we decided to put our money where our mouth is,” said Goulston & Storrs attorney Steven J. Snyder, the project coordinator. “Our goal is to have the law firm as empty as possible and get people out there.” The outing is by far the largest corporate volunteer project ever set up for a single company by the non-profit Boston Cares. “When we told people at our programs that a law firm was coming out for the day, they couldn’t get over it. They are very excited,” said Sarah Pacheco, Boston Cares manager of corporate volunteer programs. Snyder said the one-day community service program is causing a great deal of excitement in the firm. “We also have some people coming in who are on vacation or don’t normally work on Wednesdays,” he said. “We’ve never done something like this with the whole firm involved.” From American Lawyer Media GOOD WORKS Two controversial plaques commemorating Texas’ Confederate history have been removed from the Texas Supreme Court Building. One of the plaques contained a quote from Robert E. Lee and the Confederate flag, and the other commemorated Texan Confederates. Justice Al Gonzales, who handles building matters for the court, says the change was coordinated by Gov. George W. Bush’s office and the Texas General Services Commission. “These replacement plaques will help assure all Texans that our courts provide fair and impartial justice while explaining the role confederate family contributions played in constructing the Courts Building,” says Michael Jones, a spokesman for Bush, in a press release. Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas State Conference of NAACP Branches, had first called for the removal of the plaques several years ago. “We are heartened by the news that the hate symbols have been removed from the walls of the Texas Supreme Court,” says Bledsoe in a press release. He adds that he would like to see the building dedicated to all the people of Texas, and not to any particular group of citizens. Not all approved the change, however. Gonzales says he saw two men dressed in military garb and carrying the Texas and Confederate flags demonstrating outside the building. From Texas Lawyer

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