It was a light snow outside, the sort of fluffiness you’d hope for on a day or two before Christmas. Inside the law firm’s office party was going strong. There was a lot of laughter and liquor. In one corner Mary Witherspoon and attorney GB Jones were trying to hide the fact that they had been having a “thing” for about two years. Nobody knew what the “B” stood for, only that George preferred to be called “GB”. Mary? She was the ever ready battery that kept GB’s work moving. The darkness of the corner could not completely hide the PDA (Public Display of Affection) that was going on between these two.
As if by magic a quite came over the room as the “Boss” and senior partner Cliff Middleton worked his way to the center next to the Christmas Tree>> It was gift time! As he called out each name and handed the many brightly wrapped packages to the law firm employees, Cliff would say something nice about the person’s job performance, or loyalty or something thankful. And then it was time to call out GB.
GB was the Senior Lawyer. He had been with Cliff since the beginning. He was like a son to Cliff. The law firm was having a rough year and many thought it was attorney GB who had slacked off, but Cliff would not hear any talk of that. “It’s how Lawsuits go” was the refrain from Cliff. “Some Go Quick and Some Don’t” he would say. But GB’s gift box was small. Finally GB was getting downsized? As GB opened the box there was a gasp throughout the room. It was a set of keys to a Porsche GT.
“Don’t drive that thing too fast GB,” Cliff laughed, ”The family and I are going skiing so I won’t be here to bail you out”.
There was no “cell service” on the mountain. Messages were posted on chalk boards at the lifts. “Cliff Middleton – Call Office NOW” was scribbled on everyone. Hurriedly Cliff barreled down the slope ignoring terrain and literally dumping the skis at the base. He ran to the lodge, up the stairs, into the great room and to the phone. It was an Olympic effort.
As the call began he could hear the crying from Juliet, his erstwhile paralegal. GB had come in on Christmas Eve. He had raided the files. He had changed passwords. He had opened an office across the street complete with stationary, phones, a big sign and yes – Mary Witherspoon.
GB had left a letter on Cliff’s desk. “Please read it,” Cliff said softly, trying to calm Juliet. It was what was expected, client lists, cases he was taking, notice of termination of the firm from those cases and other demands. It was signed – George Brutus Jones. Now he knew what the B stood for. “Eh Tu Brutus” cried Caesar.
Ask yourself, could “Cliff” have prevented this? Are there ways of protecting yourself from such a betrayal? Yes. We encounter this activity at some time in almost every successful Law Firm. Trusted employees and companion Lawyers often flee with cases. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is NEVER spontaneous. There are many clues that YOU recognize in hindsight. We recognize them in foresight and set up systems that will allow you to prevent and contain any damage.
As you report your law firm’s activities we alert you to trends and possible thefts and betrayals. It’s all part of the Heavy Hitter program. Marketing, Advertising, and our Smart Management Program are all intertwined when you join Group Matrix and become a Heavy Hitter.
Call us now because you won’t see it coming. But WE will.