Friday, July 06, 2007

Ok let's not be rash here. Let's fix a meeting instead!

One of the first things a young female lawyer (or a young female anything) will find out after embarking on what one hopes to be a long and fruitful career is to watch out for the older female lawyers (or older female anythings). The dynamics are just crap. Somehow YFL will piss off OFL, be it the advice, the font of the advice, the formatting of the advice or just showing up in person. The common understanding (misconception?) is that OFL is jealous of YFL's looks, beauty, youth, nice suit, whatever and just cannot see past that to appreciate YFL's good deeds and excellent advice. Legend has it that OFL will then do her best to eliminate YFL, whether it's from the transaction or file itself, or from the face of the earth.


Yesterday I got a fax that moved me into an asthma attack. Story is this. We instructed local litigation counsel to act for a client in a trademark infringement matter. Someone has registered a business using the client's trademark. Infringer says, well ok. I'll change mah name. But you pay me some money. Nothing is free, you know. Clients said okay, but you sign a settlement deed. Standard stuff.

Then infringer comes back, says they don't like the look of the settlement deed. Turns out it's the admission of infringement they don't like the look of. But you did what, we said. You infringe what. We are waiving our rights what. But the infringer says no way. You take out the naughty bits, or I won't sign.

So client gets pissed, says if you don't sign, then well I'll just use the money I was going to pay you, to sue you. Infringer refuses to budge. Client sues. Infringer says, ok ok let's settle up.

Next thing I know, we get an email from some young chick, who just joined the local litigation firm that clients are instructing. I spoke with Infringer's lawyers. Here's the best settlement I could get for ya. Suggest ya take it.

We pay Infringer the same amount of money we offered to pay.
We pay Infringer half of Infringer's legal costs.
We amend the settlement agreement in the way Infringer asked us to do in the first place.

I saw it, called the chick. Hey. What's the deal here. Why are we paying even more to the Infringer? And here's the answer of the century - "It is because the Registrar at the PTC says they are shifting the matter from the Sub Court to the High Court"


So there's a long awkward silence, during which I wonder which one of us is stupid or crazy. "Can you pass the phone to the partner in charge please?"

Shortly thereafter, clients instruct the settlement should be more even-handed. We pay the Infringer NOTHING. But we can amend the settlement terms and take out the naughty bits. Infringer pays half of OUR legal costs. Young chick needs to run with that.

Yesterday I get a fax, signed off by the chick. It's addressed to the Infringer. After I read it, I haul ass to the doctor for a Ventolin inhaler and some anti-histamines. It says:

We agree to amend the settlement terms as you've asked.
We agree to use the money we were going to pay you, to pay half of our legal costs.
Since this doesn't cover everything, we will still pay you S$500.

Spoke with a colleague about what we need to do about this, and he says, well in the very very least you need to take her off the case. How can she be cutting deals which are not in line with client's instructions. You also need to reserve rights. This is a bleddy bad situation man. Couldn't she have at least called to check?

Next day I told him - hey someone told me last night that she once appeared in FHM. Some firecracker thing.


At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope you'll be just as mad if she happened to be a guy.

why cant women be kinder to their own kind?

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous dP said...

Really??? I mean the woman dynamics.

I work in a winning team that is predominantly women but I don't get the "negative" dynamics that you've mentioned...

Also used to manage a bunch of girls too and I must say, we too were quite the winning team...

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Indiana said...

See I read all that, in all the legal mumbo jumbo I got lost right at the part you said "she appeared in FHM"

But maybe I am slow. ~grin~

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Han said...

omg I think I might know who it is you're talking about. This has nothing to do with my familiarity with FHM firecrackers of course. lol.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger coern said...

what a dumbass!

At 12:39 AM, Anonymous sunny flowery said...

She is plain dumb. Even if she were old and ugly and male, she's still plain dumb.

She should stick to FHM

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm. Was it also like this when you were a YFL?

Not the "anyhowly disregard instructions" part.

But did the OFLs bully you too?

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

erm realised that i phrased it wrongly.

did ofls bully you?

At 2:28 PM, Blogger gremlin said...

oh believe u me guys somehow seem more agreeable to fair settlements than girls. girls sometimes lose it in that cake of make-up n's the botox that finally clears the brain a bit...the face-lift somehow lifts the fog completely. they say. I just repeat.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger HairyDonut said...

Anonymous No. 1: Actually it doesn't matter whether it's a girl or a guy. I'm just glad it's a good looking girl. At least there's something else going for her.

Dp: I guess you could say that dynamics between women need more management.

Indy: Yeah I know you don't read the FHM :)

Han: Neither do you.

Coern/ Sunny: I don't know. Maybe it was a genuine misunderstanding. Who knows.

Anonymous2: Well thank you for the loaded questions. Hur hur hur.

Gremlin: Oh! What's small pink and on my head? IT'S YOUR DAUGHTER'S SCRUNCHY!!!!

At 1:57 AM, Blogger S said...

what she did was truly dumb. but if she had been a guy, it would just be dumb. but because she's a vaguely attractive female, it screams bimbo/useless female, which makes it much less forgivable.

i kinda understand the OFB (banker in my case) vs LFB dynamics you talk about. i was lucky and had a female mentor at my last place. and at this place, the OFB just ignores me, which i am fine with as long as i don't have to work with her.

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous anonymous2 said...

gosh i didn't mean to sound rude. sorry. :P

At 12:06 AM, Blogger gremlin said...

you're wearing my 2.5 year old's scrunchy?! GAWD. now that explains it. quit it. it's like the hemline going higher when the jowls hang lower. tsk. give back.

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