ABA Journal


Law Firms

Associate who told partners of his ‘superior legal mind’ loses appeal

Jan 23, 2013, 12:27 pm CST


So, that one is dead and Berried. It's a good thing he tells people about his superior legal mind, because in a hundred years, you would never make that guess.

By B. McLeod on 2013 01 23, 1:31 pm CST

BP fastball and the most you can do is hit an opposite field single, McLeod? Losing it.

By Pushkin on 2013 01 23, 2:07 pm CST

Oh well -- There's always the cupcake truck option.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 01 23, 5:07 pm CST

A two-sentence opinion? Talk about judicial restraint...

By Ham Solo on 2013 01 25, 10:53 am CST

Doesn't the brilliant legal mind realize that no law firm will touch him based upon his idiotic lawsuit?

By donniem23 on 2013 01 25, 11:20 am CST

The two sentences: "You're an asshole. Dismissed."

By John O. Moore on 2013 01 25, 12:30 pm CST

We really have to think about a long hard look at law school admissions standards. It is way tio much about money and too little about service and professionalism.

By James Moriarty on 2013 01 25, 1:05 pm CST

Rule # 1 in any profession, never tell the boys that you're smarter than them. Boys (a.k.a. Overpaid menopausal, country club card-carrying, males) have huge fragile egos and will react badly to being told that you are better than them (even though, who isn't?). Berry probably saw the blowhards for what they really are - pompous idiots. Unfortunately, he acted just like them.

By NYS Courts ex wife on 2013 01 25, 1:30 pm CST

#6 LOL
we need more opinions like this.

By beentheredonethat on 2013 01 25, 1:32 pm CST

Maybe he'll turn into a law professor.

By Recovering Lawyer on 2013 01 25, 1:53 pm CST

Clearly, he is way smarter than the judge as well.

I'm sure he thinks so.

By Tim on 2013 01 25, 2:21 pm CST

Too smart for his own good.

By Texaslawyer on 2013 01 25, 2:26 pm CST

Shocker! That wasn't worth $77 million?

By Steve on 2013 01 25, 2:30 pm CST

Sounds a bit like Khan from Star Trek II

By Bill C on 2013 01 25, 2:58 pm CST

"This Court finds you neither appealing nor superior. We assess you costs because your suit was dumb and the appeal dumber."

By Faulhaber on 2013 01 25, 3:03 pm CST

His 'superior legal mind' must have been taking a nap when he signed the severance agreement.

By AdellJD on 2013 01 25, 3:05 pm CST

@9 - I think that's what they did. I actually read the opinion. In total: "Plaintiff's claims are barred by the release and were properly dismissed." The rest is just the hadings and stuff.

That's only *one* sentence, no?

By Read it and Weep on 2013 01 25, 3:34 pm CST

Now this is the crap from morons like that which the public can read that embarrasses the professionan and makes lawyers look bad

By EJF on 2013 01 25, 4:21 pm CST

Maybe the lawyer who wanted to charge law students for shadowing him could hire the guy. hey could sit around the office and tell each other how great they are.

By Legal Yak on 2013 01 25, 4:22 pm CST

When I was a first year associate, I too sometimes felt that I was smarter than my seniors because I believed my way of doing things was the right or better way. But as I gained more experience, I began to figure out that people do things for different reasons. For example, a young lawyer may think he is right so he makes every possible objection to discovery. But as you conduct more discovery, you realize not all valid objections should be raised but it would be better to work with opposing counsel to resolve the issues. Bottom line is you can be an outstanding lawyer with superior mind but there will always be things that can only be learned through experience.

By Reader on 2013 01 25, 5:00 pm CST

Kudos to the firm for shorting him $600. Obviously, he's superior at math also.

By Traveler on 2013 01 25, 5:21 pm CST

Hey Gregory Berry if you're reading this, you are a complete joke and got what you deserved. Please sue me for libel so you can get another two-sentence slap in the face from a judge.

By You call this coffee!? on 2013 01 25, 5:23 pm CST

@8 -- Men do not go through menopause. Menopause is unique to gyno-Americans. Your advice not to taunt someone more powerful than yourself is otherwise excellent.

By American of African Descent on 2013 01 25, 5:29 pm CST

Mr. Berry -- you gotta show them, not tell them.

By Unappealing on 2013 01 25, 5:32 pm CST

I'm sure that Mr. Berry, with his brilliant legal mind, had some great LEGAL arguments as to why he could sue on account of the alleged breach of severance agreement, but, unfortunately, ran into PRACTICAL law which operated from the premise "you got decent cash for signing a release, you're done !" At least the terse, practical dismissal saved his brilliant legal mind from the humbling fact that it apparently overlooked that New York is an extremely tough "at-will" State with no claims for abusive or otherwise unfair discharge recognized, a doctrine that would have spared him from having to have contended with the inevitable fired for being an asshole affirmative defense !

By Unsuperior Journeyman Employment Lawyer on 2013 01 25, 6:18 pm CST

If he is so brilliant why did he sign the release and take the $27,000? He should not have signed anything, took no cash and filed a wrongful discharge civil complaint.

By Angelo Dickens JD on 2013 01 25, 6:28 pm CST

See also Wallace v. Skadden Arps, 715 A.2d 873, 886 (D.C. 1998) (plaintiff's own Complaint describes how she reacted poorly to a senior associate criticizing her writing skills).

By Ha! on 2013 01 25, 6:31 pm CST

For a few months work he received $27,000 plus his pay for those months, next week he will be blogging that he is in debt and cannot find a job because his law school lied about the legal jobs that are out there. Some graduates need to look within themselves and discover that they might be responsible for not finding a legal position. Somehow Berry slipped through the interview process and was hired on. Maybe he could offer his services to those unable to find a job. For those that take him up on it, it would be wise not to take his position retention course.

By Henry Legere on 2013 01 25, 8:09 pm CST

Did this "DUNSKY", remember 1st year CONTRACTS, ACCORD AND SATISFACTION, OFFER, ACCEPTANCE, PAROL EVIDENCE RULE, i.e. can't be used to alter or contradict the terms of the severance agreement? Did he have a employment contract? If so, why didn't he sue for breach of contract?

Was the "DUNSKY" an AT-WILL EMPLOYEE? The Suit for Wrongful Discharge was Frivolous. He should have gotten a Rule 11 Sanction. He terminated his on legal status by signing the severance agreement.

By Angelo Dickens JD on 2013 01 25, 8:10 pm CST

That about which many young lawyers are most ignorant is what can only be learned by becoming old.

By Larry Parrish on 2013 01 25, 9:11 pm CST

Well, off to sue his parents, Little League coach, girlfriend and anyone else who told him he was special. For the injuries he suffered in detrimental reliance.

By TIm on 2013 01 25, 9:16 pm CST

Suggestion to Mr. Berry: Stick to software, and leave lawyering to real lawyers.

By Charlegman on 2013 01 25, 10:32 pm CST

#8 - Well said.

By Nemo's Facie on 2013 01 25, 11:36 pm CST

Grammatically and stylistically, the guy should have written "a legal mind superior to most I have met," not "a superior legal mind to most."

By Damon Amyx on 2013 01 26, 1:15 am CST

What was the name of that show, "are you smarter than a 5th grader?"

By Troy T. on 2013 01 26, 1:27 am CST

I'm pretty close to retirement. I have a law practice that will really take off with a superior legal mind running it. Mr. Berry have your people call mine.

By Redwood on 2013 01 26, 2:54 am CST

to # 8 and 23... Related rule Don't ____ off the alligator until you are out of the swamp ."

By Martial law on 2013 01 26, 7:15 pm CST

@ 19 -- I salute you.

Anyone else appreciate how Berry's self-laudatory e-mail is replete with grammatical errors? ("Vanna, can I buy a conjunction?")

I would have killed to have been a fly on the wall in the conference of exasperated judges weighing that appeal. They probably decided not to assess costs out of pure sympathy.

By A Beautiful (Legal) Mind on 2013 01 26, 9:11 pm CST

#8 Yes, and I suppose there aren't any women who are "Overpaid menopausal, country club card-carrying pompous idiots who have huge fragile egos and will react badly to being told that you are better than them (even though, who isn’t?)."

That's right, if he had told a group of women that he was better than they are, they wouldn't have reacted badly at all. They would not have become emotional and tried to shame him. They would have smiled, agreed and given him a raise.

And since numbers 23 and 33 agreed with this comment (that isn't sexist at all, by the way), maybe there should be a lot more affirmative action programs for men (or boys as #8 calls them). Since boys are the dumber sex, we should be giving them welfare when they become the fathers of children they can't support and require the superior, smarter females to pay them alimony and child support.

I don't know why we place so many responsibilities on inferior men with fragile egos in this nation. I also don't know why most men AND women vote for male politicians when everyone apparently believes that they are inferior to female politicians.

By Plentypie on 2013 01 30, 2:00 am CST

We had a phrase for such young 'uns when I was growing up: "He's too big for his britches."

Pride goeth before a fall.

By Helen C. on 2013 02 01, 7:40 pm CST

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