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August 21, 2015

Best of Partner Emeritus No. 4: Is Above the Law's Partner Emeritus "real"?

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[Y]ou can continue to discredit or dismiss me as a character. I guarantee you one thing. If you work for a peer firm, you will encounter me or someone very much like me. Either way, you cannot avoid the essence of my character if you aspire to succeed at a peer firm. I or some form of my embodiment will exist to make your existence as uncomfortable and unpleasant as it can be.

-- Partner Emeritus, New York City, September 3, 2009

So what's the answer?

My take from reading scores of his comments to Above the Law posts since 2009 is that wonderfully elitist satirist, humorist, legal commenter Quality Guardian and faux lawyerness self-esteem killer Partner Emeritus (sometimes hereinafter "PE")--except for his nom de plume--is completely real. Note that he generally reserves his aim and fury to those he considers to be the legal profession's law cattle. He rarely takes a shot at anyone discussed in ATL, or published in ATL as a columnist, if that human appears to have substance, chops, solid ideas, real experience, pedigree and in some cases writing ability, e.g., well-respected and accomplished litigator Mark Hermann, former Cleveland-based (mother ship) Jones Day partner, author of a very fine book on lawyering and currently GC to a real company.

For today's teaching, edition no. 4 of our series The Best of Partner Emeritus, please go to "Partner Emeritus, Meet Biff–You Could Learn Something" by ATL editor Elie Mystal six years ago. I like Elie and, unlike PE, I like most of his writing--Elie's interesting, and at times astoundingly creative. His relatively short article of September 3, 2009 was itself was creditable and evenhanded. And while PE didn't agree with it, he didn't seem to have that much of a problem with it. Elie's article that day was not an example of what PE does not like and is brutally honest about in his criticisms, to wit: (a) a navel-gazing, condescendingly insulting or plain crap column by a representative of the law cattle world, (b) a writing by a dink poseur with no or questionable legal experience and/or credentials who compensates by mentioning the classics and their authors, (c) a writing by a struggling legal tech salesman, (d) a writing by an angry, passive aggressive "mommy lawyer" who advocates special treatment for women and other lawyers of the non-workaholic persuasion, (e) a writing by a marginal lawyer and/or straight-up fraud who steals ideas, style and even tone from seasoned writers or who purports to understand all manners of otherness, Eastern/Western culture, thought and spirituality, and who pitch this nonsense to other poorly educated, unread, untraveled, insecure, marginal lawyers, (f) a writing by a woman called Smokestack Lightning from Memphis, and (g) a writing any one named Biff from Prichard, Alabama or thereabouts.

But the PE's comments to the Mystal piece give you a good idea of what PE is about and not about. So read the main article, get some context and listen up, Campers:

This comment is addressed to post no. 54 [who theorized PE was a fake]. Rest assured, I am not a character. Mr. Mystal has seen my ip address and he can confirm I am the real deal. Even he would not be so harebrained to address a fictional character.

Several of you cretins have tried to ascertain my identity by going to Rick's Cabaret and pester the bouncer with questions such as "who is partner emeritus?" or "what time does partner emeritus get here?" Do you realize how foolish you look asking these puerile questions? I value my anonymity since my comments on this site may be assailed by some of the junior partners at the firm that want to retire me involuntarily. As a lawyer with an impeccable legacy, I will decide when I am good and ready to leave the firm on my own terms.

Regardless, you can continue to discredit or dismiss me as a character. I guarantee you one thing. If you work for a peer firm, you will encounter me or someone very much like me. Either way, you cannot avoid the essence of my character if you aspire to succeed at a peer firm. I or some form of my embodiment will exist to make your existence as uncomfortable and unpleasant as it can be. Welcome to the legal profession you self-entitled nimrods have created.

And this one to the same article, this time on the difference between peer and non-peer firms which, in context, is, well, just King-Hell funny:

Mr. Mystal, if I were managing a firm in Timbutku or some swampland region in Florida and I employed members of my family or tribe, of course I would do my best to keep them happy. After all, blood is thicker than water. I would like to think that even you would know the difference between a peer and a non-peer firm. A peer firm does not recruit at [PE's expletive deleted] or any law school in [expletive deleted], unless it is for a satelite office. Did you ever ask yourself when was the last time Biff gave his staff/associates a raise? I have nothing to learn from someone named "Biff" or someone that dons a toupe and a tacky button down collared shirt. I will remain a staunch and ardent proponent of the hybrid tough love model. And, how dare you sully the memory of the great Ronald Reagan? The 80's was the best decade of my life. A great time to be a lawyer. Under Obama, being a young lawyer means leading a spartan existence, filled with penury and shame. Mr. Mystal, I frown on your attempt to one up me with a non-peer attorney from the South named Biff.

That is all.

What say you, Campers?

Partner Emeritus.jpeg
Law as an honor, privilege and backstage pass to the World.

Posted by JD Hull at August 21, 2015 01:05 PM

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