Tag Archives: e-mail

From The “The Fish Rots From The Head Down” Files: The Uber CEO’s “Miami Letter”

You wonder why Uber has ethics problems?

This is why Uber has ethics problems.

Uber is being investigated by two law firms hired to make assessments regarding the corporate practices and culture at the ride-sharing giant, determine what created the toxic environment that led to sexism, sexual harassment, other unethical management conduct, and recommend remedial measures. Usually in such situations, the problem stems from unethical leadership. Guess what? Uber’s unethical conduct stems from not merely unethical leadership, but a leader with ethics alarms that have rotted into dust and rust.

The two law firms recently uncovered a 2013 e-mail sent to Uber’s staff by  CEO Travis Kalanick before a company outing in Miami.  Internally referred to as the “Miami letter,” this thing screams “What was he thinking?”, “Where were the lawyers?” and “This guy might get elected President of the United States!”

Here is the e-mail; I’m going to bold some important features: Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, language, Leadership, Quotes, Workplace

Johnny Manziel’s Lawyer’s E-Mail Ethics Disaster

email mistake

In an article last year inspired by increased attention in the legal profession prompted by Hillary Clinton’s epic incompetence handling her e-mail, New York’s Legal Ethics Reporter last year published “Ethical Implications & Best Practices for Use of Email.” It began with a quiz:

Which of the following statements are true?

A. Email is a wonderful tool for the successful practice of law.

B. Email not only saves time and money, but also allows for prompt communication with clients, colleagues, and opposing counsel.

C. Email is overused, often results in incomplete or inaccurate responses to inquiries, and fills up your Inbox with useless information.

D. Careless use of email can subject the sending lawyer to embarrassment, unhappy clients, lost income, breach of the duty of confidentiality, discipline, or claims of malpractice.

E. All of the above.

The correct answer is E— All of the above.

One reason lawyers are, as a group, far less forgiving of Hillary’s nonsense (and lies) is that her conduct, if it involved a client, and not just a relatively minor institution like the U.S. State Department, would constitute a clear violation of  the ethics rules covering competence and confidentiality. (Let’s ignore, for now, the rules requiring honesty and the avoidance of conflicts of interest.). Work- and case-related e-mail must be handled with care, or disasters occur. One of the lawyers for disgraced ex-NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel just provided a lesson in how that can happen, and it is going directly into my next seminar.

Defense attorney Bob Hinton, representing  Manziel  in a hit-and-run case, accidentally sent an Associated Press reporter an e-mail intended for the athlete’s legal team. The misdirection appears to be the result of an auto-address feature that assumed whom Hinton wanted to communicate with based on the first few letters he typed.

In the memo, Hinton expresses exasperation at the extent of Manziel’s dependence on illegal drugs, and reveals that he has a receipt that shows Manziel may have spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia store just 15 hours after he was involved in the crash. “Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle,”  the lawyer wrote. This is a problem, since Manziel is seeking a plea deal that almost certainly would require periodic drug tests. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Science & Technology, The Internet

Unethical Quote Of The Day, Or “Now THIS Is Spinning!”: Hillary Clinton Spokesperson Brian Fallon

Clinton spin

“While political opponents of Hillary Clinton are sure to misrepresent this report for their own partisan purposes, in reality, the Inspector General documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other Secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email. The report shows that problems with the State Department’s electronic record keeping systems were longstanding and that there was no precedent of someone in her position having a State Department email account until after the arrival of her successor. Contrary to the false theories advanced for some time now, the report notes that her use of personal email was known to officials within the Department during her tenure, and that there is no evidence of any successful breach of the Secretary’s server. We agree that steps ought to be taken to ensure the government can better maintain official records, and if she were still at the State Department, Secretary Clinton would embrace and implement any recommendations, including those in this report, to help do that. But as this report makes clear, Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email was not unique, and she took steps that went much further than others to appropriately preserve and release her records.”

—-Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon, spinning the IG report with revelations which prompted that right-wing rag the Washington Post this morning to call his boss’s conduct, in an editorial, “inexcusable, willful disregard for the rules.”

Wow.

Whatever Hillary Clinton’s campaign is paying Brian Fallon to lie for her, it’s not nearly enough.

Imagine: the State Department IG issues a devastating condemnation of Clinton’s conduct, one that proves (as stated here since March, 2015, because it was obvious that early) Clinton has been lying about her conduct, her motives and the consequences of her actions regarding her personal e-mail server installed precisely to avoid the legal reach of the Freedom of Information Act at the risk of compromising national security, and the Clinton camp response is  to say, “See? She was telling the truth all along!”

This response is..

Cynical.

Audacious.

Insulting.

Also designed for use by the completely corrupt, like Nancy Pelosi,  typical of Clinton responses to all scandals, and ridiculously easy to expose.

And before I start exposing, let me address the comments of the liberal end of Woodward and Bernstein (that would be Carl), who while agreeing on CNN this morning that the IG’s report is “devastating” in its near complete demonstration of how much Clinton has misrepresented the facts and her conduct to the news media and the American people, summed it all up be saying that Hillary has had “an uncomfortable relationship with the truth.”

To evoke the late Fred Rogers: Can you say “habitual liar”? Sure you can! A woman who has had “an uncomfortable relationship with the truth,” Carl, is a liar. Don’t sugar-coat it and obfuscate. That’s what the Clintons do. You sound like a Clinton! She’s lying. She lied about the server. She lies all the time. You’re a journalist. Just say it, loud and clear. That’s your damn job.

But I digress.

Let’s just go over how poor Brian Fallon’s statement of desperate mega-spin is dishonest, misleading, and, to be blunt, a pack of lies: Continue reading

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What A Surprise: The Inspector General Reports That What We Knew Clinton had Done With Her E-Mails A Year Ago In Fact Was What She Had Done, That She Has Been Lying And Spinning Ever Since, And That Her Supporters Have Either Been Dupes Or Accomplices! OK, I Guess That’s Not Much Of A Surprise…

Yawning2I’m not sure what to write about this, except that it has to be reported because the Clinton e-mail scandal has been so extensively discussed here since early in 2015. If it’s surprising to anyone, I pity them. If they try to keep denying it, I have contempt for them. If they don’t understand why this issue matters (Bernie…!), I pity them and have contempt for them.

Today the State Department’s inspector general’s report on the Clinton’s e-mail practices was released to the media.  The report makes it clear that Clinton intentionally set up the private server to avoid scrutiny of her personal e-mails, and the various Stygian activities revealed there. In order to do that, she willfully and knowingly violated State Department policies, and placed national security at potential risk.

The report concluded that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server and that department staff would not have allowed it had she requested approval, because of the “security risks in doing so.”  Clinton’s use of private email for public business was “not an appropriate method” of preserving documents, the inspector general concluded, and her practices failed to comply with department policies meant to ensure that federal record laws are followed. Clinton should have printed and saved her emails during her four years in office or surrendered her work-related correspondence immediately upon stepping down in February 2013. She did not, choosing instead to provide those records in December 2014, nearly two years after leaving office.

So she was not following policy. What she did was not approved.  She did knowingly take risks with sensitive national security information. It wasn’t because she didn’t make “the best choice” that all of this occurred. Clinton was making the best choice for her…her career, her ambitions, her schemes.  The nation’s interests were secondary. If that. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Science & Technology

Hmmm…Might THIS Stem The Ethics Alarms Traffic Slump?

ink tonersI received this e-mail today. If I were Ken White at Popehat, I would deliver an extended faux discourse on ponies, but in this case the message itself suffices:

Hi Jack,

My name is Stephanie Song. I am a freelance writer. I was wondering if you would be interested in allowing me to write a unique article for ethicsalarms.com? I’m working to get myself established in the industry. All I would ask is for a very brief About the Author section at the end of the article that has a single link in it to my site at InkTonerStore.com.

If you check our blog you’ll see that I am very focused on high quality content. Although our blog focuses on ink toners, I can write on any topic.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Humor and Satire

Apology Ethics 2: Is This A Legitimate Excuse? Does It Matter?

Skydiving

Tom Angel was chief of staff for the Los Angeles County sheriff until emails he had sent to friends four years ago, prior to becoming the sheriff’s top aide, denigrating several different groups of minorities including Muslims, Catholics and Latinos surfaced in the media. Now Angel  has resigned.

His boss, Sheriff Jim McDonnell,  announced the departure  in a statement posted to Facebook that called the messages “inappropriate and unprofessional.”  That was fair.

Originally, the department defended Angel, saying in part,

“Although his judgment in this situation is of concern to members of the Sheriff’s Department, no one is more distressed about it than Chief Angel himself.  His apologies for this uncharacteristic act have been profuse and sincere. Chief Angel’s decision-making and actions in his long prior career with the Sheriff’s Department and since his return in 2015 reveal more about his actual character and typical good judgment than the instances from four years prior currently reported in the media.”

It didn’t work, especially after Angel’s apology, quoted in the LA Times, was this:

“Anybody in the workplace unfortunately forwards emails from time to time that they probably shouldn’t have forwarded. I apologize if I offended anybody, but the intent was not for the public to have seen these jokes.”

Should that have been sufficient? Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Race, Rights, The Internet, U.S. Society, Workplace

Comment of the Day: “Google Shows What’s Wrong With April Fooling”

gmail-mic-drop-650x331

Extradimensional Cephalopod adds to the April Fool’s Day ethics lore on Ethics Alarms, commenting on the post about Google’s “Mic Drop” debacle.I especially like the three April Fool’s Day guidelines at the end.

Here is EC’s Comment of the Day on the post, Google Shows What’s Wrong With April Fooling: Continue reading

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