19 Feb 2006

Bad Business Etiquette Leads to Email Infamy

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Pretty much everyone today passes along by email some daily item of of news or amusement (a joke, disaster story, or just an anecdote offering a moment’s entertainment). People also commonly exchange stories of just how rudely people will sometimes behave in business these days in situations when no further profit is to be expected. The combination recently ran amok bringing 15 minutes of unwelcome fame to a naughty little Boston attorney.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Feb. 19) – Two weeks ago, newly minted young Boston attorney Dianna Abdala e-mailed a prospective employer, William Korman.

“The pay you are offering would neither fulfill me nor support the lifestyle I am living,” she wrote, turning down his job offer.

Korman was not happy.

“You had two interviews, were offered and accepted the job (indeed, you had a definite start date).”

He’d already ordered her stationery and business cards, and set up her office computer and was amazed she conveyed her second thoughts by e-mail.

“It smacks of immaturity and is quite unprofessional,” he wrote.

Abdala’s response? “A real lawyer would have put the contract into writing and not exercised any such reliance until he did so,” she wrote.

“This is a very small legal community,” Korman responded. “Do you really want to start pissing off more experienced lawyers at this early stage of your career?”

Abdala finally answered, “Bla bla bla.”

An ordinary office spat? Nope. Korman forwarded the exchange to a friend … and it spread throughout the Boston legal community — and then to the Boston Globe, to the International Herald Tribune, to ABC News’ “Nightline.”

It was the “bla bla bla” heard round the world — making Abdala the most famous, perhaps notorious, 24-year-old lawyer in America.

3 Feedbacks on "Bad Business Etiquette Leads to Email Infamy"


I heard about it through the email grapevine on the West Coast but was surprised to see who the hiring attorney was.

It’s easy to criticize but if you had ever met with Mr Korman yourself you might have a different take on the situation.



I bet you she’s down with the swirl too. In boston no less.


Suppose the original offer TO Diana was agreeable by both. Consider this, the reason for Diana’s sudden change of heart was due to Atty Korman’s last minute greedy shuffling of their offer. Maybe the offer for talking purposes was for $50K annually then, Korman unprofessionally thought “if I put 2 young attorneys to work and offered them $30K each – well better for me”. Try swallowing that news the night before your start day. Then not getting your way like some petulant child
(Korman) asks his friend to blast he and Diana’s correspondence out there with an attempt to get back at her as if in a sissy slapping match. Hats off to you, way to pave the professional path Sir. Yeah and BTW she is in the Swirl and Korman isn’t worth the extra “w” in bla. But, if he was then here it is… “w”ord of advice, stand like a man.


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