The email that roared (Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly)

The strange tale of a much-forwarded email chain describing “Lawyers behaving badly.”

By David L. Yas

How small is our legal community?

One young lawyer just found out.

The hard way.

It happens that a young attorney by the name of Dianna Abdala was applying for a job with a criminal defense lawyer named William A. Korman.

Korman apparently thought Abdala had a bright future ahead of her so he offered her a job in their first meeting. They agreed upon a start date.

But Korman then called Abdala to his office to tell her that he had decided to hire two lawyers, not one. As such, he had crunched some numbers and decided he had to reduce the amount of salary they had discussed. Still, he said, he was excited about her working for him. Korman set up computer resources for his new hire and made the other usual arrangements. But Abdala did indicate to Korman that she may have to give the job some more thought.

Then Korman received an email from Abdala on the Friday evening before the Super Bowl. She had changed her mind. Abdala wrote: “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 (sic) sew. Thank you for the interviews.”

Korman called Abdala and left a message for her, asking if they could talk and work things out. He suggested she call him on his cell phone. Instead, Abdala called Korman’s office and left a voice mail, again declining the offer.

That’s when Korman wrote the following in an email to Abdala: “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 p.m. 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 (sic) stationary and business cards with your name, reformatting a computer and setting up both 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.”

Enough said, right? A young lawyer declines a job offer and some awkwardness ensues. Not the biggest deal in the world.

Well, here’s where things go haywire.


2 thoughts on “The email that roared (Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly)

  1. It is sad that Ms. Abdala felt compelled to answer Mr. Korman as she did. Yes, sometimes we are offered much less than we are worth for the work we do. But bad offers happen. As a self-proclaimed “trust fund baby”, I’m sure that Ms. Abdala had many other options. All she had to say was that she could not accept the change in terms. End of story, her career remains intact. Instead, she becomes an embarassment to the legal profession. Even more sadly, even if her legal career survives this, the ones who may suffer are those that she takes on as clients. Eventually she will need the help of others in the legal field, and all she will be remembered for was one shining moment of notoriety.

  2. I agree totally. And also, IMHO that should have been discussed on the phone. And her inability to express a simple thought in email was cringe inducing, when you consider the amount of education she has.

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