Monday, December 21, 2009

Akin Gump: The Foul-Mouthed Partner

According to the experts "people who are good at their jobs, are popular with colleagues, speak out against unethical behaviour and are intolerant of hypocrisy are often targets of bullying."

In the spring of 1988, while I was still an agency-supplied temporary paralegal at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, I was assigned to a conference room on the firm's second floor. Across the hall was the office of a foul-mouthed partner named Bruce Mendelsohn, Esq. All day long I could hear him across the hall in his office talking in a loud voice, using obscenities.

One day Bruce Mendelsohn walked out of his office into the hall, and I took the opportunity to confront him. Mind you I was just a temporary paralegal and Bruce Mendelsohn was a partner. I chastized him about his language. I thought his behavior was shameful and inappropriate.

Well, don't you know, a brief time after I spoke to Bruce Mendelsohn, I got a telephone call from my direct supervisor, Maggie Sinnott. She told me I had to work overtime that night. I had the suspicion that Bruce Mendelsohn had "run to mommy" and told Maggie Sinnott about the big, bad paralegal who spoke out of turn to him. I should have known that someone who used the language that he was used to using would lack the integrity to take his chastisement in a professional manner. Yes, I have a history with bullies.

In any event, Leonard Sagot, Esq. (of Sagot & Jennings in Philadelphia) would have been proud of me. Mr. Sagot despised obscene language.


Gary Freedman said...

I was the "Glenn Fine" of Akin Gump -- the "Inspector General" of the firm.

Gary Freedman said...

Bruce Mendelsohn's office at that time was down the hall from David Callett, Esq., one of the senior partners on the Eastern Airlines litigation and Jack Gallagher, Esq., the Eastern Airlines billing partner.

Mohsin said...

Hi Gary;

You strike me as a class act and a stand up dude, so try not to bristle at the following:

BM's demeanor is a slum bumpkin, undeniably, but a crusade to bring cultivation onto every Goodfellas junkie walking the planet will only end in disaster for you. Such folks are far too numerous and(trust me, for I've been one of them)and unawares to know any different. Your fervency is best saved for those occasions when some blockhead tries to direct his Joe Pesci act towards you.

Best of Wishes;

Gary Freedman said...

"Touchiness" can be a symptom of a narcissistic personality disorder.