Lawyers' email spat goes public
Well, the little email tiff below isn't earth shattering, but what I find interesting about this tiff between attorneys Bill Scherer and Elizabeth Lee Beck is that it seems to hinge on Scherer's use of the term "lady."
Apparently Beck, a young woman, found it sexist, while Scherer, an older man from Indiana, says it wasn't sexist in the least. Obviously it all comes down to context, which we don't really have. Apparently the two of them kept getting into arguments on the phone over a case with the conversations ending with Scherer hanging up on Beck. Then the emails. It was Scherer -- who is in the midst of two high-profile cases (Scott Rothstein and Guma Aguiar) who copied some members of the media, including this one.
From: Elizabeth Lee Beck [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:26 PM
To: William R. Scherer
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; 'Christopher W. Prusaski'; 'Stephen B. Gillman'; 'David W. Trench'; 'Jared H. Beck'
Subject: deer valley v sb hotel (your client the motwanis)
I would like to request that you do not condescend to me on the phone, simply because: (1) I am a woman, and (2) I graduated law school in 2004. I'm embarrassed of neither of those facts, and I don't appreciate you being unpleasant about it to me. You demanded that your clients get dismissed asap, and when I did not agree, you frankly got quite nasty with me, ending w/you hanging up mid-sentence. I don't know who you are, but why you think such behavior to a fellow member of the bar and opposing counsel will serve your clients well, I have NO IDEA.
I'm copying all co-counsel on this case, so that going forward, we now have an email chain so we can all confer on various scheduling matters. If you want to persist in your bullying tactics, then don't be shy about copying everyone, Mr. Scherer, unless you think it's something to be ashamed about.
ELIZABETH LEE BECK, ESQ. | Beck & Lee Trial Lawyers
66 West Flagler Street Suite 1000 | Miami, Florida 33130
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 4:40 PM
To: Elizabeth Lee Beck [email@example.com]
Dear Ms. Beck:
Excuse me, I called you a “lady.” Where I come from, that is not sexist. After you used the words “f--k you” in the second conversation, it became obvious you are anything but a lady. I will continue to hang up if you continue to use that language and act unprofessionally. Whether you are young, I would not know. You sounded as though you are anything but young from the tone of your conversations with me. Your reference to the “prohibition” is obviously referring to my age. It tells me you have looked me up. As far as I know, my AARP card did not cancel my bar admission.
Your e-mail to all of counsel of record is grandstanding and that is also unprofessional. However, if you want to grandstand let’s do so publicly.
Have a good day!
William R. Scherer