Law Practice Management

Lawyer who trashed secretary on Facebook appalls 'Ask Amy' readers

A lawyer who trashed her secretary on Facebook should be shown the door, according to the managing partner of a small law firm who wrote “Ask Amy” advice columnist Amy Dickinson.

The managing partner, who signed his letter “Alan in Walnut Creek, Calif.,” was commenting on a December column about the lawyer’s disparaging Facebook comments about her secretary. “Everyone in an organization plays an important role in that organization’s success and they are deserving of their dignity,” the managing partner wrote. Several readers wrote Ask Amy to say they were appalled by the lawyer’s Facebook comments, Amy says in this column published in the Washington Post.

According to the original letter to Ask Amy, the lawyer appears to hold the belief that people become secretaries because they are incompetent or inferior. In the column published here by the Fresno Bee, the lawyer’s cousin wrote:

“My cousin is a young and ambitious attorney, but if you looked at her social networking pages you might think she was still in college. Her Facebook feed is filled with disparaging and mean comments about her secretary.

“She makes fun of the questions her secretary asks, the way she looks and dresses and her work ethic. (She called it ‘lazy’ when her secretary asked which task from a list she’d been given was the highest priority.)

“She usually appends each update with a comment like, ‘No wonder she’s just a secretary.’ “

Amy suggested responding in a Facebook comment that says the lawyer is being disrespectful. “I assume this behavior will eventually earn her a reprimand and/or dismissal,” Amy wrote. “Her comments may be actionable.”

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