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March 25, 2009 4:01 PM

The Greatest Client Memo Ever? (Also: Manny Ramirez Stinks!)

Posted by Zach Lowe

The Am Law Daily encourages you to go to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft's client memo Web page right now to see if the single most bizarre memo we've ever seen is still up there--because we suspect it may not have a long life span.

The memo (linked below) is attributed to Steven Lofchie, cochair of the firm's financial services department, and it is entitled: "The Manny Ramirez Lightbulb: Also (2 Ideas in 1 Memo) Putting Pay in Perspective." It begins as a rant about former Red Sox outfielder (now with the Dodgers) Manny Ramirez: "I am enraged! and outraged! plus morally reprehensibled (did I say I am outraged!) that Manny Ramirez has inked another huge contract." 

And it goes on from there. The memo, which does not offer any legal advice, accuses Ramirez of loafing during his final weeks with the Sox and--in a nod to the current AIG bonus controversy--suggests that the state of Massachusetts tax Ramirez' paid salary at 90 percent to recoup it. (It suggests New York do the same to the approximately $20 million Knicks guard Stephon Marbury received to stay away from the team this year). As for the (relatively) low-paid Sox second-baseman Dustin Pedroia, the memo suggests he receive an earned income tax credit.

"Anyways," the memo reads, "the tax system is completely messed up." The memo's author then riffs on the pay of Hollywood celebs: "Why should people get paid $1MM to be a movie star and then pay no taxes plus get to choose between Angelina and Jennifer. I would completely be a movie star for free especially if it was something like Halloween 5, but actually scary."

The memo is attributed to Lofchie, who did not immediately respond to phone or e-mail messages about it. Lofchie's name has a footnote next to it, and if you follow it to the bottom of the page, it says this:

"Steven Lofchie was raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He believes that the land of Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and Larry Bird; of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady and Rodney Harrison; of Bobby Orr; of Doug Flutie; of Bruno Sammartino; of Ted Williams and David Ortiz, must not be trounced upon by Manny Ramirez." It then refers readers to Lofchie's recent article, "The Future of Financial Regulation: Meet the New Regulators, Better than the Old Regulators?"

Download Cadwalader Client Memo

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I'm surprised to learn that CWT is still in business.

It might be better if it were written in English.

The author must not have any work and why would CWT send that message to clients?

You people really need to get a sense of humor. Geez.

Personally I loved the memo. Okay, I'm only a journalist, but don't we all need a little comic relief these days? Oh My God it's a lawyer who can write and be funny. Quick, sue him! I bet six shares of A.I.G. that a gaggle of clients who read client memos (which I hope is more people than read newspapers) were quite pleasantly surprised to find a rant about Ramirez. Any takers?

The firm sent this out to clients and it is legitimate.

Its clearly a commentary on the AIG tax - and sends a real and intended message. I think it is a brilliant PR move - especially after the free PR from Amlaw. And it sure reads better than those boring indentures.

I doubt that this was written by a lawyer. It's not the content, it's the English. Even today's associates don't write that badly: "anyways"?

Gawd, people, it's called satire. Haven't any of you read A Modest Proposal?

WTF? Further proof that CWT is a TTT.

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