‘Sushi Memo’ Is Said to Expose Capriciousness at White-Shoe Law Firm

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The New York Times on Wednesday offers an account of a peculiar memo that is making the rounds in legal circles. Jonathan D. Glater writes:

“The memo has footnotes. It has exhibits. It is crisp and professional and is written on stationery of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, one of New York’s elite law firms. Indeed, it is the hottest law firm memo around town, but it is not about Enron, Tyco or any corporate scandal. It was not even written by a lawyer.

“It is the sushi memo, and here is its story.

“A Paul, Weiss partner, Kelley D. Parker, apparently received a subpar order of takeout sushi. So, according to the memo, she asked a paralegal to research local sushi restaurants. The paralegal took to the task aggressively, interviewing lawyers and staff members at the firm, reading online and ZagatSurvey reviews, and producing a three-page opus with eight footnotes and two exhibits (two sets of menus). The memo concludes by expressing the hope that Ms. Parker will now be able to choose ‘the restaurant from which your dinner will be ordered on a going-forward basis.'”

The Times said the memo, while possibly a parody, is being circulated “by associates and paralegals eager to expose what they see as the capricious and demanding behavior of partners. Some believe it illustrates the climate of a large law firm for many paralegals, who may feel compelled to give every assignment the single-minded vigor of a filing in a capital case, even if they are only helping to find some particularly fresh raw tuna.”

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/22/nyregion/22SUSH.html?hp

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