When Emails Haunt You – The Saga of William Korman and Dianna Abdala

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It’s good to remember that when you commit something to writing, people may read it. Including people whom you had never expected nor intended to read it.

And if the email happens to involve your professional reputation and standing in the community – and if it’s a small, tightly knit professional community, well – a single slip of the fingers can make or break your career.


 

This is a lesson which a young graduate of Suffolk University Law School, Dianna Abdala, is in the process of learning after having declined a job with the law firm of William Korman. Well, perhaps “declined” is putting it kindly.

As the story goes, Dianna Abdala interviewed with William Korman for a position with his criminal defense firm. Korman is, by all accounts, a well-respected trial attorney, who was recently named one of the up-and-coming lawyers in the Boston area by his colleagues. Abdala, having just graduated in 2004, even if she passed the bar on the first go in July of 2004 would be by any metric a brand new baby lawyer.

However, Korman, willing to give the new attorney a chance, offered her a job on the spot, and then started making preparations for her arrival. Following the interview, for reasons unknown to us, Korman contacted Abdala and revised the offer, reducing the salary in order that he might hire two attorneys, instead of one.

Abdala responded by email, with what can only be called a bizarre response, in which she not only declined the job offer, but cites her need to “support the lifestyle I am living” (she’s 24, fresh out of lawschool, for cripes sake – what kind of lifestyle does she have??)

She then closed with a line bringing to bear the full weight of her education: “I have decided instead to work for myself, and reap 100% of the benefits that I sew.”

She is, apparently, a seamstress as well.

Dianna Diana Abdala

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Korman responded, and it just got more and more bizarre, with young Abdala at one point lecturing the more experienced Korman on the formation of contracts, and ultimately replying to Korman with, and I kid you not, “bla bla bla.”

It makes for great reading, and I’m obviously not the only one who thinks so. It started out by going the rounds of the online legal community. According to Mass Lawyer publisher, David Yas, the email has been passed around to an untold number of attorneys and firms, both in the local area and beyond. And even to firms in Europe.

Said Karman, “This has taken on a life of its own. The legal community is tiny, and the criminal-defense bar even smaller. They are surprised by this attorney’s responses to my simple queries. It’s so early in her career to be attacking someone like this. I just wish it had played out better.”

Amazingly, Abdala is not concerned in the least with how the outing of her attitude, poor communications style, and either lack of spelling acumen or mixing of metaphors will impact her employability as an attorney. Nor is she concerned that this has now been forwarded to several thousand people, at last count, and posted around the world. In fact, she is quoted as saying “I’m not upset at all. I’m enjoying the notoriety.”

Hey Dianna, enjoy it while you can. And along with “bla bla bla”, there’s another phrase you may want to brush up on: “Would you like fries with that?”

Here’s the email exchange; what do you think of the whole thing?

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When Emails Haunt You – The Saga of William Korman and Dianna Abdala

—–Original Message—–
From: Dianna Abdala [mailto: dabdala@msn.com]
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 9:23 PM
To: wak@kormanlaw.com
Subject: Thank you
Dear Attorney Korman, At this time, I am writing to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer. After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the pay you are offering would neither fulfill me nor support the lifestyle I am living in light of the work I would be doing for you. I have decided instead to work for myself, and reap 100% of the benefits that I sew. Thank you for the interviews. Dianna L. Abdala, Esq.

—– Original Message —–
From: William A. Korman
To: ‘Dianna Abdala’
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 12:15 PM
Subject: RE: Thank you
Dianna – Given that you had two interviews, were offered and accepted the job (indeed, you had a definite start date), I am surprised that you chose an e-mail and a 9:30 PM voicemail message to convey this information to me. It smacks of immaturity and is quite unprofessional. Indeed, I did rely
upon your acceptance by ordering stationary and business cards with your name, reformatting a computer and setting upboth internal and external e-mails for you here at the office. While I do not quarrel with your reasoning, I am extremely disappointed in the way this played out. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. – Will Korman

—–Original Message—–
From: Dianna Abdala [mailto: dabdala@msn.com]
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:01 PM
To: William A. Korman
Subject: Re: Thank you
A real lawyer would have put the contract into writing and not exercised any such reliance until he did so.
Again, thank you.

—– Original Message —–
From: William A. Korman
To: ‘Dianna Abdala’
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: Thank you
Thank you for the refresher course on contracts. This is not a bar exam question. You need to realize that this is a very small legal community, especially the criminal defense bar. Do you really want to start pissing off more experienced lawyers at this early stage of your career?

—–Original Message—–
From: Dianna Abdala [mailto: dabdala@msn.com]
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:29 PM
To: William A. Korman
Subject: Re: Thank you

bla bla bla

—–Original Message—–
From: William A. Korman [mailto: wak@kormanlaw.com]
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 7:59 AM
To: ‘David Breen’
Subject: FW: Thank you

Did I already forward this to you?

—–Original Message—–
From: David Breen [mailto: dbreen@bu.edu]
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 9:47 AM
To: ‘William A. Korman’
Subject: RE: Thank you

OH MY GOD! Where to begin? First of all, how unprofessional. and secondly, it is “reap what you ‘sow,'” now “sew”. if she is going to use a clich?, couldn’t she at least spell it right? And WTF is with her “blab la bla”? Does she not read your e-mail about it being a small community?! So, finally, can I forward this along to some folks? I am sure they would love to see how the up-and-coming lawyers are comporting themselves! (Clearly she did not go to BU!!!) J

—–Original Message—–
From: William A. Korman [mailto: wak@kormanlaw.com]
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 9:55 AM
To: ‘David Breen’
Subject: RE: Thank you

You can e-mail this to whomever you want.

  
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When Emails Haunt You – The Saga of William Korman and Dianna Abdala

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66 Replies to “When Emails Haunt You – The Saga of William Korman and Dianna Abdala”

  1. I knew Diana in law school. She was a great person and even better friend.

    I’ve noted that guys will go insane because she is really pretty. That being said, this employer to me is just like the guy who did not get the girl he wanted and went insane by MAKING THIS PUBLIC!

    So you want to talk unprofessional behavior?

    How about making PRIVATE EMAILS PUBLIC.

    He obviously had a thing for her or else these emails would have gone to the recycle bin.

    And THAT folks is TRUTH.

  2. This email exchange pretty much sums up my opinion of lawyers. All three people involved sound elitist, entitled, arrogant, and ultimately foolish.

  3. We hired Will Korman to represent my nephew and it was the BIGGEST waste of $25,000.00 we have ever spent!! Worse lawyer out there!!

  4. I stand with her 100%. She said what she wanted to say and not what she is supposedly “required” to say. The attorney also replied with arrogance and attitude, so

  5. some folks are saying that mr Korman changed the salary he was offering ms Abdala only after she had agreed to take the position. it seems to me that if mr Korman did chang the salary offer after ms Abdala had already accepted the offer, then ms Abdala was fully in the right that mr Korman should have put it in writing, and fully within her rights to refuse mr Kormans offer after he very unprofessionally modified its terms AFTER she accepted it.

  6. It’s time a-holes like William A Korman be put in their place. What an arrogant prick. Not only did he change the terms of his offer to Abdala, he shamed her for not accepting his huge reduction in salary, and then ruined (perhaps intentionally) her entire career by sending the message to his colleagues. All she did was make a TRUE AND ACCURATE statement that was also a bit snarky, in response to a totally unwarranted, inaccurate email from Korman. Of course, the stupid, vindictive, petty lawyers of the world have sunk their teeth into her. I wonder what would happen if everyone’s full name and law school were posted next to some of the comments on the blogs that discuss the sage. Indeed.

  7. Funny thing is, I only heard of this thing yesterday, when I read an article on MSN. People are focusing on the wrong things:

    – Spelling errors. Who cares? Not important to the story.
    – Whether or not Korman changed the salary. Also not important, because she obviously agreed to it.
    – Whether or not there is some kind of copyright issue. Again, who cares? Not important to the story.
    – Whether or not she’s hot. Really? Who the heck cares when your life is being defended by her?

    People are missing a simple fact…she jerked around a potential employer without regard for the bridge she was burning. Why? Who cares? Maybe it was because she thought she could do better on her own, maybe it was because she didn’t like the salary…neither argument make any sense since she’s taking court-appointed cases now, anyway.

    We learn that she’s a person that doesn’t respect the position of others, nor care if they are harmed or inconvenienced in her pursuit of her own lifestyle. If I were a client, that’d be good to know about her.

    What we also learn is that she is an attorney that can’t be taken for her word. As an attorney dealing with her, that’d be good to know, and as such, I’d be really happy to have received that email.

  8. Those that take sides with Abdala are idiots. This is a fact, not an opinion.

    Let me break it down so you morons can understand…

    As with ANY profession:
    You DO NOT accept a job offer, and then decide to change your mind the night before!

    If you MUST make this decision, you must be humble about it– REALIZING that you are in the wrong.

    But no, Abdala felt she needed to tell Korman how to do his job. There is no place for entry-level know-it-alls in a place of business.

    You DO NOT speak to people “higher-up” in your field than you with such disrespect.

    She deserved this, and I truly hope that the world now knows that this is what happens when Daddy spoils baby…

    Bitches are born.

    If I were in Korman’s position, I would have done the exact same thing, being SURE to send it to ALL of the top executives in my field.

    Do you really think employers don’t talk to each other???

    Do you really think that if you piss off an employer in the slightest, they don’t at least mention your name around the field?

    What a snob Abdala is…
    These comments assure me that she should have paid better attention in class and/or went to a better institution.

    a snob with no right to be a snob is the worst of all.

  9. I wouldn’t work for Korman. She has an excuse, she is young, and speaks her mind directly, without the flim-flam – something that first time employers expect and know how to direct and hone. Even if he’s a “first class lawyer” he’s also a first class control freak and a first class narcissist, based only on the language patterns of HIS FIRST reply. Good choice Dianna, your instincts are impeccable, you’ll do well on your own.

  10. Basically, I think that lawyers (at least the ones i’ve come in contact with) usually are more out-of-tune with human decency than the ones I’ve come across. They’re ethics revolve around winning or losing in the courtroom and not really about right or wrong. I think that even though Korman said “I wish you the best of luck” he really showed a complete lack of consideration and was serving his own personal ego by trying to destroy her career.

    It says on the set of e-mails that Breen is a professor at BU, so if he was fowarding it to students to show them what not to do, I can certainly understand that but, he could have at least muted his name, and he also said “some folks.” Breen seems to be as bad as a gossipy housewife. Copyright laws aside, someone else’s personal e-mails are really no one else’s business and by fowarding the email with the person’s name attached, you’re being as petty as a middle schooler.

    This is, more than anything else, a case of unchecked egos. Dianna Abdala got pissed off at Mr. Korman for retracting her salary offer. Mr. Korman got pissed off because he already made the stationary and accused Dianna of being an indian-giver. Dianna took some offense at that and wrote something even meaner. Mr. Korman sort of took the high road (bravo to that) by trying to give her some advice, but not in an extremely friendly way. He simply said “It’s not a good idea to try to piss us off.” Dianna did not take the high road, by saying “blah blah blah” (although I got a kick out of it). Then Korman and Doug Breen take the lowest road imaginable: foward it to everyone in an effort to ruin her professionally. I point the fingers for this disaster to Korman and Breen. Abdalla is just young and a bit overconfident, Korman and Breen were not young, they knew the consequences of what they were doing

  11. How any of you defend this girl? She’s a trust fund baby, only able to do this because of her elevated societal position. Its not so much her rejection of the job, that happens frequently, its her evasive and sneaky manner that upset him. You want those qualities in a lawyer? She can only survive, and unfortunately with some of you people, thrive because she was in a position of wealth in the first place.

    Truly disgusting. Even more so that some of you defend her. This is surely evidence of a dying society.

  12. Immaturity at it’s finest!
    Mr. Korman seems cocky and unprofessional in my opinion.
    He has a problem spelling as well, and let us not forget David Breen to whom he forwarded the email to.
    Love the low class “WTF” and unable to spell cliche.
    Now this tells me a lot-sorry David but not very nice.
    I think I know Jack his brother, if it is the David I’ve heard of here in PA.
    Hope he is well.
    Mimi [my nicname] and I’m no lawyer lol I stumbled across this doing a search.
    Come in men..grow the heck up.

  13. Mister Korman is wrong. He has commited Slander and has broken the confidentiality between and employer and a potential employee. It is very unprofessional and She was 100% right and just because she made a typo or mispelled sow doesn’t mean she wasn’t morally in the right.

    I love how this guy gets his buddies to chime in and then basically tries to make it hard for her to GET A JOB IN HIS TOWN.

    This is hick like behavior and I’d never want this ass clown to represent me ever.

  14. Bla bla bla is professional. Maybe, as a professional, you’re irritated with someone who you may feel is trying to “put one off on you”, so you eventually say bla bla bla.
    Bla bla bla is human. Humans are professional, ergo, bla bla bla is professional.
    Now, if you want to talk about professional idealisms, that’s different.
    Remember when they were fighting the Borg and this new girl came on and gave #1 pause? Remember the exchange in the turbolift? “I’ll pull you back so hard, you’ll think you’re a first year cadet!”, or something to that effect. :)

  15. The diary analogy doesn’t hold up-if you forward it to someone and they publish it not for personal gain, there’s nothing you can do. Copyright has nothing to do with this situatioin. If you send an email to someone, they can publish it to whomever they wish without your permission, barring dome type of privilege relationship, eg, atty-client.

  16. Mark’s Second Axiom: Any e-mail or forum posting criticizing another person’s spelling or grammar will itself contain a misspelled word or grammatical error.

    If it is true that Korman changed the offer after it was accepted, then he has no right to be upset that Abdala changed her mind about accepting it. So he spent money on stationery and business cards…big deal? Abdala may very well have turned down other offers. The fact that she comes from a wealthy background and didn’t need the income is irrelevant. Suppose Korman had been dealing with a graduate from a poor background with thousands of dollars in student loans to repay. There is nothing to indicate he would have acted differently. Remember, it was Abdala who brought up the fact that she is a trust-fund baby.

    Unfortunately, this is pretty typical of employers in all fields. Just last November, I had lined up a seasonal job at a well-known bookstore chain. The manager was supposed to call me on Monday to tell me when to start. I didn’t hear from her, and wasn’t able to get her to the phone until Saturday, at which time she told me a former employee had come back for the holidays, and since he didn’t need training, she took him back and didn’t need any more people — but she had just been “too busy” to call and let me know. Not like I might want to keep looking for another position….

    That covers the actual transaction. The resulting e-mail exchange makes both Korman and Abdala them look small, and their spelling errors are the least of the problems.

  17. Lets just put it this way: attrny Korman was right in calling her immature and unproffessional, because, quite frankly, the manner in which she declined his offer was such. He is, in fact, even warranted some license to call her immature and unprofessional, because when she accepted the offer, that meant that many other applicants for that same job were turned away (Just to break it down, this means that not only does the FIRM take a loss because it might be understaffed a new lawyer, but also the other new lawyers lost out on a possible job which they might sorely need. Law school isn’t cheap, contrary to popular belief). The fact that he included that he had ordered stationery and set up e-mail accounts was not to point out money was spent (frankly, stationery isn’t that expensive, especially for a large firm), but rather to point out that the firm had extended itself in order to provide a job, only to be rudely snubbed by simply a snottily written email from what appears to be a spoiled brat.

    To make Diana out to be a hero is just plain ignorant. If she was smart, she would have kept her mouth shut after William’s second email (calling her immature and unprofessional). Instead, she chose to be the snotty brat she is by responding with a snappy email and then a ‘blah blah blah’.

    William had every right to say what he did, being the older and more experienced attourney, he was informing her that her choice wasn’t wise (it isn’t easy to get a position in a law firm right out of law school); and then later saying no one who hire her if she pissed off one lawyer (lawyers tend to talk to each other at something called a “Bar Meeting”); in his position I would do the same thing.

  18. Personally I find it amusing that Mr Breen mocks her “sew” typo while making several of his own. Perhaps they don’t teach the use of spell check at BU?
    it is “reap what you ‘sow,’â€? now “sew”.if she is going to use a clich?,

    Seems like that should be a not rather than now. Cliche has an e. ;)

    Does she not read your e-mail about it being a small community?!

    Do you mean ‘Did she not’..by chance?

    If you’re going to correct someone.. start with yourself.

  19. Why does this surprise anyone? Have you seen the candidates on “The Apprentice” who are lawyers. Most of them have been immature and downright unprofessional! Just because you hold a law degree doesn’t make you suddenly more evolved than the “common man” so many of them look down on.

  20. From what I just read, neither party was very professional. For one, I would expect better typing (and spelling) skills from any professional in a communication-heavy position. When Abdala initially declined the position, she was polite, despite her misused metaphor/poor grammar/etc. – it was Korman who threw what I see as the first insult (“smacks of immaturity”). Abdala actually seemed less offensive (even with the “bla bla bla”), since she never swore (Korman, “pissing off”). The person Korman sent the email to was *extremely* unprofessional as well.

  21. Holy crap, it’s sad how many people are taking Dianna’s side. All the guy was doing was informing her that she acted unprofessionally so that she might avoid doing such things in the future. And yes, it is extremely unprofessional to verbally agree to a contract, then change your mind late on a Friday night and decide it doesn’t ‘allow you to live the lifestyle you want’. By the way, Gertie, she’s able to “be her own woman” and reject it because she’s living off of of others’ money, not her own. It’s this ridiculous sense of entitlement that average people hate about people that are born rich.

  22. I just think it’s awesome that this guy David Breen said “if she is going to use a clich?, couldn’t she at least spell it right?” When he spelled cliche wrong. Really, if you’re going to pick on somebody’s spelling…

  23. Unforunately, Abdala should’ve have been aware of how the employment process works. Employers will try to sabatoge you if you do not please them. I’m not saying that it is the right thing to do, but it does and will happen again. I do give her credit for making a stand and not letting Korman push her around, but it was very costly and not helpful to her carreer. Who knows, what if the e-mails that leaked were altered and we all are judging on inaccurate information. Its too hard to say unless we heard it straight from Korban and Abdala

  24. Uhhh… I think you will find contracts for performance or consideration in excess of 500$ need to be in writing.

  25. I’m a copyright lawyer, this is not copyright infringement. Copyrighted material does indeed have to be proven to be intended for finanicial gain. This is obviously not the case in this instance. In addition, federal courts have ruled that email documents are not private property, because they are distributed via a public network, i.e. the internet. This is the way that companies have the legal authority to read their employees email- it doesn’t belong to them. An exception to this rule would be if it was an attachment, but its not. In addition, even if in the wildest circumstances she was granted a copyright, it would be a shared copyright, because of the fact that this is a clearly collaborative effort. Neither side could have written what they did without input from the other party. As such, the parties are intextricably linked, and cannot sue each other for copyright infringement of a shared document.

  26. George: “Copyrighted material needs to be intended for material gain?” Are you saying that if I write a diary, for private use, I have no right to the profits made if that diary is published? That sounds fishy. I’m not a copyright lawyer, but from my reading of the law I came away with the impression that anything anyone creates is automatically copyrighted: that is, any creative work. This is US law, at least. I’m curious if there are exceptions (for email perhaps).

  27. The lawyer with whom she interviewed seems to be the immature one. He/she (can’t remember) is sinking (or has sunk) to the level of the 20 year old newbie. I have the feeling that not only was it a lower salary that caused the new lawyer to decline the offer, but it was feelings about unprofessionalism that helped it too. Hence the “a real lawyer….” She is unprofessional and juvenile, of course. However the reply email from the lawyer after her declining was a little harsh and I might have focused on the negative stuff too, and pointed out that I had no contract.

    I can’t believe the older lawyer was so offended that he desired to forward this email around.

  28. Doclocke: “It’s interesting that Aunty Spam found fault with Ms. Abdala’s spelling error, but not with Mr. Korman’s equally erroneous spelling of “stationery.â€?”

    Maybe you should run your posts through a spell checker from now on.

  29. It seems that most people supporting the refusal of Ms. Abdala do so because the offer was lowered by Mr. Korman. While this certainly seems reasonable to me, (although the general level of tactfulness displayed by both people is not,) I can’t help but wonder if the original offer was actually lowered. I see no reference to it in any of the e-mails, only in the introduction text of the article. Is there any verification of the reneging of Mr. Korman I wonder?

  30. Stop trying to act all high and mighty because you’re lowballing someone who can probably do better than your firm. Talk about immaturity. Also, “clich” does not equal cliche. Oh and I’m pretty sure using another person’s emails as a public joke means you can be sued for slander. After all the entire point of your little game is to pretty much blackball her from getting a job. I also am going into my own business and it’s people like you idiots that are the reason for that. I must give credit where it is due however, I’m not leaving my name.

  31. I think both of them handled this poorly; Korman for not putting the offer in writing then changing the terms of that offer, and Abdala for responding so immaturely. I can’t believe that both these people are in the legal profession, considering that not only is their spelling atrocious, but their conduct is totally unprofessional in any field. I’ve been in the design and entertainment fields for some time now and would never deal with an employer or employee in this way! But what no one has mentioned so far as I’ve seen is the obvious – this is what you get on Craigslist. It’s too informal and usually suggests that someone’s too cheap (or crazy) to post a real ad or to conduct their search elsewhere. If either one of them was so great, why would they use it in the first place? I think both of them come out of this looking pretty bad – but I’m sure that, being lawyers, they’ll continue debating it forever. Too bad they can’t charge each other for it.

  32. Any copyright infringement would likely be de minimis on the part of each person who passed it on. Further to say sending an e-mail has no effect on copyright is incorrect. Any right to keep a work from being disseminated ends the moment it is published.

  33. Assuming all this is Real…

    Dianna’s my hero.

    She’s her own woman.

    If only all women– and men– were their own.

    That this email exchange echoed as far as it did online, I will hypothesize, had in part to do with status and pecking-order, such that Abdala transcended, to the ire of Korman and some online voyeurs.

    (But then, virtual– and real– communication is like this every day. So what.)

    And some people don’t seem to get that some bridges are more trouble than they’re worth.
    http://www.ketchum.org/bridgecollapse.html

    Burn one, build two.

    Korman:
    > You need to realize that this is a verysmall legal community, especially the criminal defense bar.
    > Do you really want to start pissing off more experienced lawyers at this early stage of your
    > career?

    I’m sorely tempted to swear that this was psychological manipulation or blackmail. Serious stuff.
    If so, applying that to anyone, much less young, inexperienced 24 year olds, as unruly as one may think they are, is beneath contempt.

    In a show of solidarity for Dianna, (and an acknowledgement that language is dynamic and mutates anyway), I will, from hereon in, be spelling “blah”, “bla”.

    Here’s to you, Dianna.

    —————–
    > Two days later, she intereviewed again. Korman told her the salary would be $5000 less than
    > originally stated (not 1/2 as someone posted). Abdala then accepted the job AFTER knowing what the
    > salary would be.

    There’re often more details and sides to every story, but what’s your point (and your info source)?
    In any case, I think Korman helped get the snowball rolling when he lobbed “immature and unprofessional” at Abdala. She’s got every right to feel insulted and patronized by this.
    With Korman’s apparent experience and age, one would have thought he would have known better and to have cut Abdala some slack. I wonder what he was like at 24.

  34. The only issue here is burning bridges… she had nothing to gain my her bad conduct and if she thinks this 15 minutes of fame will be a benefit, she has another think coming

  35. People here have the story somewhat incorrect. Korman interviewed Abdala and told her the salary would be X, she indicated that she was interested in the position, but no offer was ever made. Two days later, she intereviewed again. Korman told her the salary would be $5000 less than originally stated (not 1/2 as someone posted). Abdala then accepted the job AFTER knowing what the salary would be. THe rest, as they say, is history

  36. Jeff, Scribe’s comments re: the fact that Korman is not deriving any financial benefit would weigh in favor of a fair use defense for copyright infringement. Plus, your comparison to unauthorized publication of a Steven King novel is not on point because it doesn’t match the facts of the case at hand.

  37. This entire situation shows but one thing,the mentality of many lawyers and why most develop into “snakes in the grass” or worse yet go into politics.

  38. Korman is a bitter little legal beagle, uptight, dumb-ass. Get over it sparky. The girl said no. No means no. Overtly trying to negatively affect her career because you feel slighted is par for the course for you cheap suit wearing criminal lawyers. Can you say ethics? Yeah, I did not think you could Ass****.

  39. While accepting that a law school graduate might be expected to have learned the difference between “sew” and “sow”, it does also seem rather strange that “a well-respected trial attorney” doesn’t know the difference between stationery and stationary…..

    And, personally, if a potential employer dropped my salary between a verbal agtreement and a start date, I’d tell ’em to stick the job where the sun don’t shine as well. Probably not in an email though. Especially if he was the sort of cretin who thinks it is acceptable practice to publish private correspondence.

  40. This just goes to show why people laugh at lawyers. They are both very wrong, both are conceited, self-centered & have very little concern for other people. The so called experienced lawyer thinks he can unilaterally change a contract & does not understand why the expected to be employee is not happy & does not want to work for him. The employee decides she’s too good for him, & unceremoniously changes her mind. I hope I do not need the services of either of these turkeys.

  41. Do lawyers want to know why we laugh at them all the time? This is one of the reasons. The so called experience lawyer could not be bothered to keep his end of the bargain, & the snotty to be or not to be employee shows little common sense. But then, I guess lawyers don’t have to worry about following the law, they can just sue each other in a court. Or they can fight their battle on CNN. I hope to Buddha I never need either of their services.

  42. Sending an e-mail has absolutely zero effect on the copyright held in it. Do you think publishing a book puts it into the public domain? Before you tell someone else to “brush up” on copyright law, you might try learning even one single fact about copyright yourself, “scribe”. Copyright exists from the moment something is created (with some exceptions such as “work for hire” which isn’t a factor in this case). Registration, or lack thereof, has no effect on copyright, only on pursuing infringement of said copyright. An e-mail to someone is copyrighted by its author and the recipient has no more right to publish it (i.e. make it public or otherwise distribute it) than you have to publish copies of, say, Stephen King’s latest novel. Before you lecture anyone on something, “scribe”, please try to do so on the basis of facts, not your imagination. :-)

  43. If these emails are to be believed…and it’s possible that text was changed by people as it was sent along. So that’s important to keep in mind that these email exchanges may be vastly different than the way they originated.

    However, if these emails are accurate, there is blame on both parts.

    Ms. Abdala interviewed with Mr. Korman for a job with his firm. They discussed the job and salary and after giving consideration to both, Ms. Abdala accepted the position.

    While they didn’t have a written contract, they had a “Gentleman’s Agreement” which is legal and binding. He offered, she accepted and he took her on good faith at her word, as she did him. A mutual agreement.

    However, it seems that Mr. Korman tried to change that agreement by reducing Ms. Abdala’s agreed upon salary in order to hire a second lawyer.

    As she had agreed to a specific salary, and he tried to break their agreement (contract), after the fact, she had every right to reverse her decision as he was the one who breeched it.

    Mr. Korman made the mistake of assuming Ms. Abdala would agree with the salary cut and went ahead and ordered stationary and business cards for her, when he hadn’t even talked to her about the reduced salary.

    She had accepted the job based on certain conditions; salary being one of those. Since Mr. Korman breeched their agreement by cutting her salary after an agreement had been reached, she had every right to turn down the job. However, she should have done it in a more professional manner; in person to his face and explain that she accepted the job based on certain agreed upon conditions, salary being one of them and that it was poor form on his part to cut her salary and assume that she would be accepting of that.

    Both have to shoulder the blame on this one and use it as a learning experience and move on.

  44. I first heard about this from a friend yesterday. Here is what I wrote back to the friend (except I used a more emphatic word than “screw”):

    This story seems to be big — it’s on the front page of cnn.com — but I can’t figure out why. Am I missing something? As I understand it:

    –a law school grad was offered a job, which she accepted
    –the potential employer changed the terms of the offer
    –the grad sent an almost-but-not-quite-snotty e-mail turning down the offer
    –the would-be employer sent a slightly more pompous letter scolding her because he thought the rejection merited more than an e-mail
    –she used the phrase ”

    The most interesting thing I see here is that a law school graduate doesn’t know the difference between “sow” and “sew.” I have no sympathy for the lawyer because, having done lots of job-hunting at so-called professional firms myself, I know that most of them don’t have the courtesy to even send a form letter response when they decide not to hire you even after a formal interview. If I were in her place, I would have probably made a snide comment offering to reimburse the firm for the cost of the stationery and business cards since it seems so onerous for them.

    Besides, she is probably right that the offer should have been made in writing, but that goes both ways — she should have asked for a written offer. OTOH, if he’s so bent out of shape about her changing her mind, why didn’t he get the acceptance on writing?

    They are both doing their best to live down to the reputations of lawyers (and, in her case, a spoilt trust-fund baby). I’d say screw ’em both, except the whole matter is too insignificant to the world at large to merit that much effort.

  45. I gotta agree with the poster who commented on her extreme hotness. She’s gorgeous. Having said that, she’s an admitted (spoiled) trust fund baby. She can burn all the bridges she wants because her rich lawyer daddy has already laid out the $$ for her to put out her own shingle. And let’s face it, this guy Korman is just pissed because a really hot young chick dissed and rejected him.

  46. Aren’t we all missing the point??? Does anyone else think its a bit poofy that American lawyers sign their name off as Esquire??? Jason Garner, Esq. and BA of BS

  47. It’s interesting that Aunty Spam found fault with Ms. Abdala’s spelling error, but not with Mr. Korman’s equally erroneous spelling of “stationery.”

  48. I think the potential employer was the one who was acting immaturely here. He offers a lower salary than initially agreed upon and then is then surprised when she declines? Why would someone be so cocky that they think they should go ahead and start spending money making preparations for a new employee after lowering the initial salary offering? Does he think he’s so great that she should be grateful to work for him no matter what pay he offers? He calls her unprofessional, but it appears that he is the one that made her an offer and then lowered it after she had accepted. I’d guess that she lost all patience and respect for him at that point, which resulted in her following responses.

  49. Brush up on your copyright law. First of all, she doesn’t have a right to privacy to the email once she hits “send”. Second of all, he’s not gaining any financial benefit from the emails that rightfully belong to her.

  50. This guy Korman needs some new clients to keep him busy. He has way too much time on his hands. He needs a big cup of humility.

  51. As far as I know, her e-mail expressions are protected by federal copyright law. He did not have her consent to forward her emails sent to him to other people, especially those from outside of his office. Hmm….. I bet he sues her for his losses in reliance of her oral agreement (which is BINDING, Dianna) and she sues him for invasion of privacy and copyright infringements. Oh boy….

  52. I think that 1.) Her potential boss obviously thinks that he is “one tough guy.” Full of himself, in other words. And 2.) The young lady is clearly not too bright. Which is a sad statement on the low quality of the legal training that she apparently recieved. Frankly I am glad that this exchange has become public. It is a perfect example of what is wrong with the legal “profession” in this country and it is something that I will point to at every opportunity. Both parties are very, very unprofessional and extremely dim.

  53. How can anyone take the side of this employer? I’d like one of the people commenting above who take his side tell us they would have proceeded with this employment after the deal had been made and then suddenly the agreed upon salary cut. It’s the same b.s. constantly seen with lawyers who have a few years under their belt. All thinking the world needs to kiss their ass. Well, I’m glad she told these uptight self glorified pompous idiots to kiss hers.

  54. Did you see her on CNN? Holy sh** she’s HOT! I’d hire her just for the *****! It would last about three months and then she’d self-destruct. She’s stupid and HOT – **** her a few months, then fire her (no judge would blame you for firing her OR for ******* her, so don’t worry about a sexual harassment lawsuit.)

  55. Her attitude is somewhat reminiscent of Bernard Shifman. On the other hand, Mr. Korman seems somewhat unreasonably put out about Ms. Abdala deciding not to come to work for him after he went to the trouble ordering new stationary, business cards, formatted a computer, etc. He did withdraw the initial offer and lower the compensation. What preparations had she made based on his offer? Bought a new car, put a deposit down on a new apartment, bought a new work wardrobe — all based on expected income based on Mr. Korman’s offer? Still, she should learn something about burning bridges.

  56. Does Ms Abdala not retain copyright to emails she authored? If so, then I question how wise it is for this thread to have been “forwarded to several thousand people, at last count, and posted around the word [sic]”

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