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Why lawyers are, as a rule, the least socially capable and acceptable people on earth.

This one moron I knew said that lawyers were the most socially capable and smartest people in the world. He continued to praise them for all these imaginary attributes. Surprised to find out that this fuckwit was a lawyer, too? Didn’t think so. (And he was my boss, so he was a double fuck-up).

Anyways, this article is just one example of why law firms are still breeding grounds for the immature frat boy mentality, and why most male lawyers are obnoxious pieces of shit who think they rule the world when all they do is slow it down and make it harder for normal people to survive.

Columns: Simple rules for business start with: No touching: “The law firm of Holland & Knight was born in Florida and today is one of the largest firms in the world, with 1,250 lawyers in 30-plus cities from Bradenton to Beijing. The firm has been a deep well of leadership for our state.

Holland & Knight lawyers have served Florida as governor, U.S. senator, justices of the state Supreme Court and members of the Legislature. A patriarch of the firm, the late Chesterfield Smith, helped write our state Constitution. The firm also is an inspiration for its pro bono (free) work performed for the public good.

All of which makes this ‘feel my pipes’ story all the more disappointing.

Feel my pipes!

That, apparently, was a standard utterance by Douglas Wright, a Holland & Knight lawyer on the rise inside the firm. He seems to have been in the habit of asking other people to feel his muscles.

According to a group of female attorneys who complained, Wright also liked to grill them about their boyfriends and sex lives, engage in running commentary about their clothes, hair and appearance, and jokingly threaten their jobs.

Not felony stuff. But dumb and unacceptable – especially for a man in line to become the firm’s third-in-command.

I have read Holland & Knight’s internal investigation, which was leaked. It is convincing in both volume and detail.

One female lawyer said Wright seemed fascinated that she was renting a room from another male lawyer, and teased her endlessly, saying things such as: ‘Did you know he had a camera in your shower? Do you know he lays in your bed? Do you know he puts your panties on his head?’

Others said Wright grilled them about their boyfriends, made fun of their clothing, asked whom they had gone home with. Wright’s actions sometimes were directed against women in group settings, in front of other attorneys.

Wright gave his side of the story to the investigators, and he seems to be sincere and genuinely baffled. Yes, he said, he likes to ask people to ‘feel my pipes’ as an ice-breaker. Yes, he remembers saying some of the things in the complaints, but meant them in the spirit of kidding.

Wright said he has ‘threatened hundreds of people with firing and they all know it is a joke.’

Like I said, this does not make Wright a felon. What he is, in his mid 40s, is an overgrown college boy who apparently missed a couple of key lessons. In the spirit of helpfulness, I offer simple principles:

(1) Do not ask people to feel you.

(2) Do not press people into uninvited conversation about their sex lives.

(3) Do not threaten people with firing, especially at the same time you are violating rules (1) and (2).

So, what did the law firm do?

It promoted Wright.

Well, okay. First the firm’s managing partner, Howell Melton Jr., slapped his wrist with a private reprimand. Melton declined two of the investigators’ recommendations, and did not bar Wright from committees that choose lawyers and summer associates. The female attorneys who had risked their jobs to come forward objected, to no avail.

Then, last month, Melton promoted Wright to the No. 3 spot. How Melton thought he could pull this off without consequence is a mystery. The internal report leaked. Wright stepped aside.

Here, at least symbolically, is how these things should go:

INVESTIGATORS: Chief, we have concluded that one of our lawyers is asking female lawyers to feel him. He also wants to talk about their sex lives and jokingly threatens to fire them.

MANAGING PARTNER: Good Lord! This is 2005, not 1955! Get him in here so I can tell him if he does a single one of those things again, he will be out the door!

That Holland & Knight not only dropped the ball on the complaints, but then promoted the guy, says something about the mind set inside the law firm of Spessard Holland and Chesterfield Smith.

If I were on the firm’s directors committee, I would wait a couple of months for decorum, and then announce that managing partner Melton was stepping aside to return to, you know, his first love of practicing law full time. Or something like that.”

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