If you haven’t already sent out your firm holiday card, please do so wisely! Maybe include mention of the pro bono or charitable work that your firm has done in the community like a Florida firm did a few years ago. Or design a card that empathizes with your clients like a SoCal entertainment boutique who designed their holiday card with striking writers in mind during the WGAM strike a few years ago.
However, please refrain from what one Washington State firm did. Morgan Hill tried their hand at humor when their annual satirical newsletter lampooned Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders for his recent racial remarks about African-Americans. Maybe Morgan Hill should just stick to being lawyers and leave the comedy to Conan?
Of course the newsletter went a little too far, and instead of making light of the situation the holiday card only made things worse. And in today’s information age, stupid moves like this travel fast and they have already been the butt of many tweets, Facebook posts, and blogs.
In October, the enlightened Justice Sanders made this comment at a meeting according to the Seattle Times:
“Certain minority groups” are “disproportionally represented in prison because they have a crime problem.”
Well, Morgan Hill thought it would be cute to make a fake article in their annual satirical holiday newsletter trying to poke fun of Justice Sanders – who coincidentally has the same name as Colonel Sanders of KFC fame.
According to the ABA Journal the fake article, entitled “Sanders to Reach Out to Black Community With KFC Restaurant,” only created a major headache for the firm … and has me asking how someone could be so stupid? Did I mention that the article also included an altered photograph of Judge Sanders in front of a KFC restaurant, standing arm-in-arm with O.J. Simpson and Denzel Washington?
The fake article included made-up quotations attributed to Justice Sanders according to The Olympian, including:
“I never said that black people are pre-disposed to commit more crimes. I just said that in fact, they do commit more crimes.”
While black people are not “genetically inclined” toward eating a lot of fried chicken, “they do in fact eat a lot of fried chicken.”
Sanders is opening a KFC in Lacey “as a service” to minorities.
A lengthy quotation in ethnic dialect attributed to “local brown-skinned attorney Kevin Johnson.”
For some further analysis on the subject please read I Thought I Liked Fried Chicken Because It Is Delicious by Elie Mystal of the ATL blog. Or try some Dave Chappelle for his thoughts on chicken.
Maybe it’s time for law schools to start teaching a ‘Common Sense 101’ course?