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In what appeared to be a farewell e-mail last week, a Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker associate wrote that he hoped the “smoke from any bridges I burn today [may] be seen far and wide.” At the rate the e-mail is traveling, that won’t be a problem. But now it seems the lawyer may be having regrets. By Friday, the message — apparently sent from the desk of associate Gregory Evans Jr. to the rest of the firm’s San Diego office — had been forwarded to lawyers at scores of other firms and popped up on infirmation.com’s “greedy associates” Internet bulletin boards for New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Evans’ message said he was moving on to become a “trophy husband,” a decision that was “quite easy” to make and “a step up from my current situation.” The message offered a nod to Paul Hastings, and cited “wonderful friendships” made at the firm. But then Evans — or someone at his desk — went negative. “I am no longer comfortable working for a group largely populated by gossips, backstabbers and Napoleonic personalities,” the message said. “In fact, I dare say that I would rather be dressed up like a pinata and beaten than remain with this group any longer.” John Benassi, a litigation partner in the firm’s San Diego office, said he’d seen the e-mail — as well as a follow-up message saying Evans wanted to retrieve it. “It might have been an accident, because he tried to recover it as soon as he sent it,” explained Benassi, who said he doesn’t know Evans. The partner added that he was surprised by the e-mail and said the firm’s San Diego office is doing well, noting that it opened in September and now has about 60 lawyers. Messages left on Evans’ office voicemail weren’t returned. A Gregory Evans reached through an Encinitas, Calif., phone number refused to say if he was the author of the e-mail and said he had “absolutely no comment.” He then asked how The Recorder got his wife’s phone number. (It was found through a number listed with the Texas State Bar, where Evans was admitted in 2001.) Paul Hastings PR manager Eileen King said she couldn’t confirm whether Evans had written and sent the e-mail. “It is our firm’s policy that we don’t comment on employment matters, including the circumstances under which someone leaves,” she said. “We wish Greg well,” she added. The message, for its part, wished the firm “continued success in your goals to turn vibrant, productive, dedicated associates into an aimless, shambling group of dry, lifeless husks.”

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