Here are details and how to apply.
Sean Ludwick, a Manhattan real estate developer, could be convicted of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. That's what law enforcement documents went down in Sag Harbor in the Hamptons. The bond, set by Southampton town justice Deborah Kooperstein, is $1 million.
While Ludwick may sound like a terrible human being, we who understand how alcohol affects judgment give him the benefit of the doubt. After all the alcohol left his system, he might have been downright shocked that he allegedly did drive drunk and, after crashing his car, left the passenger in the road to die.
There are those who cannot drink alcohol "safely." That means they cannot predict, once alcohol is ingested, what they will do. The rooms of recovery programs, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), are filled with those who served prison time for crimes they had no intention of committing and which they might not remember.
A famous case had been the young male in Greenwich, Connecticut who grabbed his father's gun and tried to rob a bank. He was imprisoned for five long years. He has no recall of the incident or why he even attempted such folly in a geographic location in which he was well-known. Overall, judges and juries aren't sympathetic with drunken behavior. They likely don't understand that when intoxicated what they perceive as miscreants are simply playing out a role in altered reality.
Ludwick may be among those who should admit and accept that they cannot drink safely. It would likely help his defense if he entered rehab, then immersed himself in AA. This saga, if proven to really have happened the way law enforcement and the media have captured events, could be a tipping point for other professionals to embrace that they cannot drink safely.
Relationships, including those key ones on networks, can be deepened or destroyed by the etiquette of loss talk. What you say, the tone you use, and the timing with fellow lawyers who got the ax will become embedded in their memory bank for a lifetime.
This doesn't only apply to professional matters. In Huffington Post, Scott Simon published an opinion-editorial on what not to do when attempting to console anyone who is grieving. For example, verboten is saying, "I know how you feel." Duh. How could you know, you are not me?
Here are some guidelines for your initial encounter with a colleague in the legal sector who has been cut from the team.
Listen. Create the facial expressions, body language and silent space to signal that you are all-ears. Talking does really provide relief for those in mourning. Usually, they will have to repeat what they are telling you over and over again before they can absorb the new realities.
Be open-ended in offering help. Ask what you can do. The exception is if you actually do know of a job they can apply to immediately. Not two months from now. Follow up later with another open-ended offer for help.
Being specific can unglue the lawyers. For instance, if you offer to polish the resume it can be interpreted that you are aware that their resume sucks. Remember, they just have been knocked off the only path they have known. Therefore, they are likely full of self-doubt. Be highly sensitive.
Provide direct contact number. This lets them know that you are truly there for them. That number should be your personal mobile/text one. Not the office connection.
Get in and out fast. That you reached out is what counts. As in a sales call, what they want is for you to say what you are going to say and then leave them alone.
Grieving is hard work. And there's no predicting how long it will take for your legal colleagues to move forward. That means you cannot assume where they are in the process. The next time you are in contact with them, observe before saying anything. Often after the initial shock of job loss, the emotional state worsens. Be very cautious what you say.
"'I should say this,' federal judge Joseph Lord said solemnly at the sentencing of former anthropology professor John Buettner-Janusch at the end of his 1987 trial. ... 'I don't know of any sentence that has caused me more difficulty, more thought than this one.'" - In the Introduction to book "The Strange Case ... Mad Professor: A True Tale of Endangered Species, Illegal Drugs, and Attempted Murder" by Peter Kobel. Here you can order it from Amazon.
Judge Joseph Lord sentenced academic star John Buettner-Janusch to 20 years in prison. That was for the attempted murder of the federal judge, Charles Brieant, who had previously sentenced him for manufacturing illegal drugs in his laboratory at New York University.
After he served two of those years and was on parole, he put together a Valentine's box of candy which contained poison. He had the background knowledge on how to do that. After all, he had been operating a kind of drug factory at NYU. That might have been a prototype of "Breaking Bad."
His objective was offing the judge and his wife. The goal was to achieve justice, at least in the way his troubled mind designed the parameters for that. When he was just starting out in the work world, Buettner-Janusch had been fired at the University of Michigan Psychiatric facility for his inappropriate behavior.
In his U of M personnel file, it was recommended that he receive psychiatric treatment. Continually, throughout his prestigious career, he was alienating colleagues through his verbal abrasiveness. Probably partly because of that he didn't get tenure at Yale.
When judges opine at sentencing, that provides insight about how the legal system intersects with the values of society, at the time. This would make for a useful book for a lawyer to research and publish. The latter can be done cost-efficiently and quickly through iUniverse.com. Hire a publicist. And your career could take off.
Admittedly, I didn't conduct a scientific study. But I did post this opinion-editorial about how boring it is to have alcoholics, including women, share about their disease. Traffic was immediate. It was heavy. And it continues.
So, I am concluding: The world has had it hearing the details of anyone's struggle with excessive boozing. The analogy is going on and on about the inability to get a job or your distaste for the job you have. Like, bluntly put, no one wants to hear it.
The recovery movement has been in-place for 80 years. That's when Dr. Bob and Bill Wilson launched Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Some people were helped. Some people are still being helped. But they can no longer assume anyone cares. Daily life in a global economy, driven by digital, has become too damn hard.
If you are currently in the throes of alcoholism, have recently found the solution, fallen off the wagon, or feel blessed you recovered, share that only with the appropriate people. Those range from professional substance abuse counselors to your AA sponsor. You will save the world from hearing one more drunk story or saga about healing. We have had it.
Andy Parker's plea for gun control is poignant. After all, he's the father of murdered-on-air reporter, Alison Parker.
But few expect that outreach and the death itself to reform the business - and it is a business - of guns in America. In this economic issue there will probably be no tipping points.
Crisis doesn't necessarily precipitate change. Crisis can just be that: crisis. And, it will eventually lose steam. Parker likely will continue in this mission. It might give him purpose after this loss.
However, I have a hunch his crusade, including official lobbing, won't be effective.
"[Federal] agents alleged Ms. [Keila] Ravelo and her husband [Melvin Feliz] bilked MasterCard, Willkie Farr and another law firm out of more than $5 million by setting up fake vendors ... [Also] Ms. Ravelo had received confidential information via emails from an opposing lawyer [Gary Friedman] working on two major antitrust lawsuits ..." - Robin Sidel, The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2015. Here is the article.
If the allegations are proven, the implications are huge.
Keila Ravelo's career as a lawyer will be over. She had been a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
The Wall Street Journal states her marriage may be over.
She will be at the mercy of law enforcement.
And the settlement between retailers and MasterCard and Visa could unravel.
But for followers of this saga, the allegations raise the question: Why would a successful lawyer and pillar of the establishment engage in this kind of illegal and unethical conduct? Was it a simple issue of living beyond her means? A source says she earned $2.5 million a year as a law partner.
And/or, did she also harbor a deep resentment about the kinds of detailed, tedious tasks she had to do as part of a job that might have seemed glamorous to outsiders?
Of course, if Ravelo takes a plea deal or is convicted, she has plenty of company. So many lawyers, both real and fictional like Will Gardner of "The Good Wife," blow it all up. It might be through embezzlement, insider trading, attempted murder, or child porn.
When this is resolved and Ravelo has time to reflect she might share her insights through a keynote speech at the American Bar Association or the American Psychological Association.
In the Harvard Business Review, Joan C. Williams of Center of WorkLife Law describes the disruptive values in New Law.
In essence, they embrace work-life sanity. And that ethos, which shuns overwork, could deep-six Old Law. By "Old Law," is meant those brandname large firms which assume lawyers should not and cannot have a private life. Even weddings can be postponed. Sleep is for sissies.
A recent study by the WorkLife Law found that already there are 50 New Law businesses. And they have created a force field which is attracting talent from Old Law.
In New Law, part-time work and telecommuting are standard. And are without stigma. In fact, as this model gains traction, the behavior patterns of Old Law and the partner players will seem downright cartoonish.
That the Old Law game is ridiculous was first captured by Jeremy Blachman. That was in his blog "Anonymous Lawyer" which then became a book. Legal tabloid Abovethelaw.com (ATL) carries on that tradition.
It is a sign of the unhappy times in Old Law that ATL journalists Joe Patrice and Kathryn Rubino get a lot of material from leaks. Oppressed associates send them those arrogant memos from partners. The out-of-touch tone is probably the very same one which got those partners wedgied back in grade school.
Is it naïve to predict that one day, sooner than later, no 2L or 3L will book appointments when Old Law comes to campus to interview? Probably. Too many human beings believe they must suffer greatly to be professionally successful.