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If only the truth were as juicy as the rumors zooming through California’s Silicon Valley these days. Then there’d be mass associate layoffs, salary cuts, firm closures, blood flowing and carnage. Yes, carnage. Even the infamous bloodletting at Latham & Watkins, which did the layoff of the early 1990s, has mushroomed into a layoff of hundreds of associates. It was, in fact, 34. If only life were so exciting. Actually, it’s kind of dull. That may be why the associates who are posting missives on the Silicon Valley Greedy Associates message board are getting creative. The latest juicy tidbit to pop up on the board that was too good to be true was that Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati announced the firm wasn’t paying quarterly bonuses to associates in order to save money. Ah, think of the headlines if that were the case. But — darn it all — Donna Petkanics, Wilson’s managing director of operations, said the rumor simply isn’t true. Petkanics said the firm was continuing to pay its quarterly productivity bonuses, and it was not doing layoffs en masse. The latter comment marks about the fourth time she’s attempted to quash rumors the firm was laying off associates. One of the earlier rumors put Wilson layoffs at 150 associates. That rumor made it all the way up to some senior partners at competing firms. (Speaking of whom, perhaps Greedy Associates should find a way to verify whether posters are indeed associates.) Layoff rumors persist though, especially involving Wilson, and they have become increasingly detailed about nefarious plots by management to hide the deed. Every time a Silicon Valley associate, for whatever reason, has lost a job this year, it’s become a signal the bloodletting is about to begin. As one poster put it: “Confirmed: First-year associates fired at WSGR within the past few days. Nobody is safe at WSGR.” It seems there may have been a handful of associates at some tech firms (out of ranks numbering in the thousands) who have been asked to pack it in. But is that really carnage? Is that blood flowing? A recent posting said it best: “Give it a rest. The gloom-and-doom hyperbole on these boards is pathetic.” The anonymous poster, whose nom de plume hints the poster hails from Wilson, goes on to add this pearl: “If by nobody you mean junior associates in corporate groups, you’re probably right — they aren’t safe at WSGR or anywhere else.” Perhaps it’s no small wonder the Salary War of ’01 was just a shadow of a skirmish.

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