Question of the Week

Have You Ever Had a Client or Co-Worker Who Used Poor Judgment on Valentine's Day?

Valentine’s Day can inspire dread in the hearts of divorce lawyers, because the holiday can prompt emotionally fragile clients to act in ways that harm their cases.

“I heard about a sex tape sent over to the soon-to-be-ex-spouse around Valentine’s Day some years ago, before the Internet and technology took on a life of its own,” Vikki S. Ziegler, a partner at Walder Hayden & Brogan told the New York Times’ City Room blog. “I think it was VHS. Whatever the format, it’s something, No. 1, you never advise a client to do. … It was the wife who sent the tape to the husband. The husband’s attorney said, ‘We’re going to crush wife’s attorney,’ and sure enough, the case was settled quickly.”

Dan Schwartz at Connecticut Employment Law Blog notes that Valentine’s Day “seems to be a day that brings out the inner sexual harasser in far too many instances,” and cites 12 employment law cases from the last 15 years or so that cover poor choices made on Feb. 14. “Note: Accepting Tiffany gold earrings on Valentine’s Day will also not bolster a harassment suit against a company,” Schwartz says regarding Bogdan v. New York City Transit Authority.

So we’d like to ask you: Have you ever had a client or co-worker who used poor judgment on Valentine’s Day? Tell us about your clients’ romantic misfires and revenge schemes, or even about a time when a co-worker made an awkward Valentine’s Day gesture, whether it rose to the level of harassment or not.

Answer in the comments.

Read the answer to last week’s question: Have You Ever Had to Fight Weather to Keep Working?

Featured answer:

Posted by Austin TX: “Even in Texas we have winter trouble. We’ve got about a half-inch of snow at our house in Austin, Texas, but the roads are extremely icy. My husband just got to his office and regrets going in. Two of the lawyers in his office ended up abandoning their cars and had to walk home or to the office. I’m at home working remotely. That said, the forecast is for weather in the high 50s and 60s over the weekend. Our favorite story concerns a hearing where an attorney from Chicago came to Austin to attend with my husband. Due to similar icy conditions, the Travis County courthouse was closed and the hearing was canceled. The attorney from Chicago called home to let his family know what was going on, and his child asked: ‘Are the courts outside in Austin?’ It was inconceivable to a Chicago kid that the courthouse would be canceled due to cold and ice.”

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