Gadens v RollOnFriday — who will win?
A battle of minds is developing between Gadens and UK laugh factory RollOnFriday.com.
The website claims that managing partner Michael Bradley awards offices on the basis of personal hygiene — as in the larger the office, the smellier the occupant. According to RollOnFriday, Bradley sent this qualification around the firm after it posted an article that suggested the highest billing Gadens lawyers were being rewarded with the largest offices.
“Speaking of workstations, we read in the UK legal journal RollOnFriday that, here at Gadens, we allocate offices according to the amount of fees each person renders,” Bradley wrote.
“We don’t, but it does sound quite fun, maybe even more sensible than our current system of allocation according to personal hygiene levels (that is, the smelliest people get the biggest offices so as to best diffuse the odour).”
This follows a reprinting on the website of Gadens’ response to Lawyers Weekly’s survey of firms attending the 2007 Sydney Law Careers Fair, in which the firm proudly boasted, among other things, that it prefers “to hire in bulk to account for natural attrition and burnout”. The ball is now firmly in Gadens court, if it wishes to lob back a reply.
McDonald’s cries foul over ‘McJob’
Poor old corporate goliath McDonald’s is upset about the unflattering definition of the word ‘McJob’ in dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary, and is petitioning to have it removed.
According to Dictionary.com, ‘McJob’ is defined as an “unstimulating, low-wage job with few benefits, especially in a service industry”. Not content with mass producing fatty food, it seems McDonald’s now wants to exert a degree of influence over the English language. The company claims the definition of ‘McJob’ is “out of date and insulting”, the BBC reports. And apparently a survey has revealed to McDonald’s that 69 per cent of the United Kingdom’s population agrees the definition is wrong.
“The current definition is extremely insulting to the 67,000 people who work for us within the UK,” McDonald’s senior vice-president David Fairhurst said.
”It is time for us now to make a stand and get the Oxford English Dictionary to change the definition.”
Part of that brave stand includes a petition on a special website created by McDonald’s, called changethedefinition.com, which says “it’s time the dictionary definition of ‘McJob’ changed to reflect a job that is stimulating, rewarding and offers genuine opportunities for career progression and skills that last a lifetime”.
Folklaw would have to agree with McDonald’s there — learning how to scrape gherkins off a pane of glass is a skill many an 80-year-old must call upon.
“This definition is out of date, out of touch with reality and most importantly is insulting to those hard-working, talented and committed people who serve the public every day in the UK,” the petition goes on to claim.
Funny man stands up for Allens
Rumour has it at Allens Arthur Robinson that Tom Poulton’s replacement, Michael Rose, enjoys delivering jokes almost as much as legal advice.
Taking over as managing partner on 1 July, Rose is also the cousin of game show host Andrew O’Keefe of Deal or No Deal and The Rich List fame. O’Keefe himself is a former employee of Allens, ex-intellectual property lawyer, son of former NSW Supreme Court judge Barry O’Keefe and nephew of Aussie rocker Johnny O’Keefe.
In what may foreshadow a similar move from Allens to the heady world of television comedy, Rose is known at the firm for practicing his routine whenever the opportunity arises.
Last year he encouraged staff to go overboard on Jeans for Genes Day, by offering to donate “$50 more if the jeans are accessorised with a limited edition John Laws signature Valvoline chambray shirt”, and “$20 more for any T-shirt featuring Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, the Bay City Rollers, Karen and Richard Carpenter, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, the Partridge Family (with or without Rubin Kincaid) or a scene from Jaws”.
Maddocks’ partner sticks the boot into IT
The Junior Lawyers Union (JLU) blog reported earlier in the month the following wisecrack from a pedantic Maddocks partner:
From: Help Desk
Sent: Friday, 4 May 2007 9:29 AM
To: Everyone DL
Subject: Reminder: Computer Systems Unavailable — This Saturday Morning, 5th May 2007
Due to some maintenance that needs to be performed, the computer systems will be unavailable this Saturday, the 5th May until 1pm.
The outrage will effect both the Melbourne and Sydney offices as well as remote access via webmail and citrix.
From: Mystery Maddocks Partner
To: Other lawyers
Re: Reminder: Computer Systems Unavailable — This Saturday Morning, 5th May 2007
I never knew IT people were so passionate as to suffer “outrage” when there’s an outage for maintenance!! And I guess the effect will be to affect both offices!!
Folklaw questions how wise it was to tease the IT department, seeing as they are the keepers of personal information, passwords and records of visits to internet pornography sites (real or fabricated). And for a criticism of poor spelling, the email contained a highly unnecessary number of exclamation marks too.
Still, it is almost certain that IT staff in law firms the nation over have their own in-jokes about the aging partners who call with demands such as “my internet mouse has spammed my megabyte” and other technologically-challenged cries for help.
Mother helps son steal out of concern
A distraught German mother admits driving her son to commit a robbery, but only because she was worried about his safety.
According to the mother, Daniela Langer, of Dresden, her son “was determined to do it and I could not talk him out of it, so I offered to drive him there to keep an eye on him. I was worried about him”.
Langer learnt of her son’s plan to rob a jewellery store when during a mother and son trip to the local hardware store, he asked for some rope and duct tape, which he cautioned her not to leave her fingerprints on, the Press Association said.
“I could not believe it when he said what he was up to, but I was so worried about what might happen to him that I went along to make sure he would be safe,” Langer said.
The mother’s worry extended to her acting as look-out while her son, with two accomplices, stole jewellery to the tune of Euro 36,857 ($60,570), along with stabbing the shop owner for good measure.
The mother and the thieves were caught after a silent alarm alerted police.
Man sleeps through bullet to the head
A man from West Virginia, USA, was not woken when he was shot in the head while sleeping off a night on the booze.
Michael Lusher, 37, was fast asleep in his trailer when a gunman shot five bullets through the wall. One continued into Lusher’s skull, but he simply rolled over and continued sleeping until he awoke and found blood, the Associated Press reported.
“It was a small-calibre handgun, so it lost a lot of velocity as it travelled through the walls of the trailer,” police spokesman Bob McQuaid of the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office said.
“We’re just glad he didn’t suffer any life-threatening injuries with a head wound. He is being kept under medical observation to make sure there is no swelling of the brain,” he said.