Skaddern Fires Plane Crash Lawyer

While in our opposite column a twittering lawyer has some great PR with his $25K to charity idea.. in this corner big law firm Skaddern are scraping the bottom of the barrel..

This is one of those stories where you wonder.. what on earth were they thinking… nothing obviously

Legal Week has the story and a corker it is too

Skadden lawyer survives plane crash, but loses job

The good reporters at may have found the craziest legal layoff story yet: the tale of Frank Scudere, a former staff attorney at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom that the firm planned to lay off on 16 January – the day after Scudere survived the now-famous Hudson River crash landing of US Airways flight 1549.

The firm has laid off nearly all of its 50 staff attorneys, but they held off letting Scudere go because of the plane crash. But on 26 March, the Skadden HR staff came calling, and it was time for Scudere to go. They cut off his health insurance immediately and gave him three hours to leave the building.

Scudere, who commuted between New York City and his home in South Carolina during his time at Skadden, said of the firm’s decision to lay him off: "I was totally blindsided because I was told there would be no more layoffs. "I don’t feel like I deserved special treatment. I just deserved to be treated civilly. I’m a 48-year-old attorney, and I’ve worked at Big Six accounting firms. I’ve been laid off before. I’ve laid people off before, but I’ve never been treated like that before. It’s bereft of any dignity."

Skadden’s response? An anonymous spokesman confirmed the staff attorney layoffs and told the firm tries to let people go in a "sensitive and humane manner." He added: "But we recognise these things aren’t easy." The firm did pay Scudere for eight weeks after his last day and gave him $500 (£343) in exchange for agreeing not to sue – apparently the firm’s standard agreement.