Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nixon Peabody's A Winner, Baby!

File this under "What Could Have Gone Wrong?"!

When law firms screw-up it seems to be screwier than when any other organization screws up. Whether it's a failed merger, disgruntled associate, discrimination suit, or a case of braggadocio, lawyers always look worse than anyone else in the spotlight.

Now comes Nixon Peabody, a somewhat reputable firm out of Rochester, New York, with offices all around the world.

Nixon Peabody is alleged to be a nice place to work, and was named to Fortune Magazine's 2007 Top Places To Work. So, a creative, witty partner at the firm thought it would be a good idea to commission a song to celebrate the firm's place in the market.

The song, as you might imagine, hit the Internet.

Ridicule ensued.

Nixon Peabody sued to have the song removed from The song was removed.

Nixon Peabody has not yet gotten over the humiliation of it, nor has the Internet forgotten.

ChurchHatesTucker has posted a memorial video at I post it here for your enjoyment:

Nixon Peabody's idiocy was even covered in the New York Times Business section:

Unauthorized Enjoyment of Song Irks Law Firm
It sounds like the setup for a joke: a law firm picks a fight with a legal blogger over the leak of an internal song celebrating — well, itself.

First, the song: after the law firm Nixon Peabody was named to Fortune magazine’s 2007 list of the best companies to work for, the firm, which has 700 lawyers, commissioned a celebratory anthem with an infectious 1980s-style beat and a sing-along chorus, "Everyone’s a Winner at Nixon Peabody."

The lyrics, sung in a kind of Earth, Wind & Fire style, include: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s all about the team, it’s all about respect, it all revolves around integrity."

But what began as an innocent instance of corporate self-congratulation has turned into a minor Internet sensation and earned the firm a bit of a black eye, with bloggers poking fun at the song and criticizing Nixon Peabody’s response to its leak.

The tune first appeared last Thursday on Above the Law, a legal gossip blog run by a former federal prosecutor, David Lat. He said that he first received the song on Wednesday evening from several sources.

"The first time I listened to it, I thought it was hilarious and bizarre," Mr. Lat said in an interview. After converting the file into a video, Mr. Lat posted the song on YouTube on Thursday morning — under the heading "Someone Deserves to Be Shot Over This" — and e-mailed Nixon Peabody for comment.

Initially, he received a statement from the firm saying that the song had been created as a response to the firm’s being ranked 47th on Fortune’s list and was meant for internal use only.

"Fun is not prohibited here," the statement concluded.

But shortly afterward, Mr. Lat said, he received a phone call from Allison McClain, a firm spokeswoman, and John R. Gerhard, the firm’s managing director. Mr. Gerhard said that the song had been leaked by a person who was in a fight with the firm, though he did not explain further. Mr. Gerhard asked for Mr. Lat’s sources and asserted that posting the song had been a violation of the firm’s copyright. . . . (more)

Now, when you are looking to hire a lawyer, or work at a law firm, please consider Nixon Peabody. They're not just like everyone else. They have a song.

You just can't make up this stuff!

Thanks to the Best Week Ever Blog and all the friends who sent this along!

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