SUDDEN FICTION - By Jane Genova
So the partners really didn't fear that he would make it his business to get the goods on them and rat them out. But, still, they were wary. No lawyer wants an authentic Boy Scout around.
A double life keeps you hopping. So, most days the 13 partners didn't play out scenarios in which the Boy Scout was picking up clues about what they were up to.
Only on their bad days was there a chill down their spine that the Boy Scout, for instance, might want to have more checks and balances on clients' accounts. Or, horrors, he might, for their own good and the good of the firm, organize an intervention about their drinking. Also, he could be capable of the best of intentions and recommend they come out of the closet. The tragic murder of David Messerschmitt who, for some crazy reason stayed closeted, was sticky with the Boy Scout.
Those bad days were more frequent for them in the Pittsburgh office than they were for their colleagues in Manhattan and Los Angeles. They knew they were second-class citizens. Not only at their own law firm. But in the eyes of much of BigLaw. To get to where there was more action, they would have to pull off a smackdown in litigation. And most had already peaked. The only associates they could attract to Pittsburgh weren't the kind to develop any novel approaches.
As hard winter followed hard winter, the presence of the Boy Scout began to preoccupy the 13. An internal memo from two associates to all the partners had been leaked to Abovethelaw.com. It contained a plea for more mentoring. Typical of the Boy Scout, he had taken an unusual interest in the training and development of associates. He was the prime suspect for the leak.
With not enough billable hours at the Pittsburgh office, the 13 became anxiety-ridden about the next shoe to drop. The drunk kept picturing a professional intervention team from Hazelden parked in the conference room, waiting for him to return unduly gregarious post-lunch.
The 13 were on the money. Headquarters pounced. Some were given a chance to clean up their acts. Some were forced into resigning. The Boy Scout, his wife, and two teenagers love living in Manhattan. The stress-reduction initiative he started at the office was written up in The Wall Street Journal.