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How to Deal With Crazy Law Partners

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 27, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When explosive attorney Marc Kasowitz sent profanity-laden messages to a public relations professional, the law firm had to duck and cover. Ronald Rossi, a partner at the law firm handling President Trump's personal matters, explained the meltdown to reporters this way: "As crazy as this might seem, it's been very much business as usual."

"Crazy" too often is a given at busy law firms. But how should you deal with partners who are emotionally out of control?

Angry Lawyers

Lawyers -- and BigLaw in particular -- have a problem they don't want to admit: they suffer more psychological afflictions than any other profession.

Whether it's the lawyer personality or the profession, it still comes out the same way -- depression, substance abuse and even suicide. No wonder lawyers are as angry as a Katsowitz.

The President's lawyer was upset because of reports about his alleged history of alcohol abuse and inappropriate behavior. ProPublica said he went to rehab, and that history compromised his ability to get a security clearance.

John Remsen, who heads a legal consultancy, says more law firms should consider psych evaluations for its attorneys. He said most corporations use them, but only five percent of law firms do.

"Fortune 500 companies and corporate America have for decades used psychological profiles in hiring people and placing them at top levels within their organizations," Remsen said. "These companies have decided the benefits of profiling far outweigh any lawsuits or liability that may be incurred."

Compel Mental Exams?

Lawyers being lawyers, there are more complications when requiring them to get psych evaluations than in the typical business. For example, a federal judge has sued his colleagues for ordering him to comply with a mental exam order.

Judge John Adams says a judicial conference committee has violated his due process rights and right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The committee of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered him to be evaluated after it found that he threatened to hold a magistrate in contempt for missing a deadline.

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