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Old 12-06-2009, 01:00 PM   #21
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You have done Zero wrong, Zero. Like you I am dismayed by SIL's unethical behaviour. You did well to confine your reaction to an involuntary "look".

Redo your estate planning with an independent executor. Then you can sit down with DD and SIL and discuss the reason why you changed your will. It's entirely possible that SIL may receive other feedback in the meantime. For example, I'd like to know what the senior partner thinks of his integrity. The dinner invitation may be the only reward he gets.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:09 PM   #22
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DangerMouse, that is my position also. I feel my one error was furrowing my brow much like a person does when someone says, "that will be $9" when all you bought was a pack of gum. More of a "huh?" look. I recovered quickly and ate a big mouthful of stuffing.

I told my daughter at her wedding that I wished her good health and happiness and while it sounds simple, that IS what I want for her.

My DW gets 2-3 phone calls per week from DD and I usually get on for 2-3 minutes before they hang up. Last few calls have been DW saying, "I'll tell you dad you said Hi" and then hang up.

I guess like a picture, my furrowed brow said a thousand words.

So being in the doghouse and keeping my mouth shut is not a big price as long as she is happy.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:24 PM   #23
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I know very little about how this firm operates but I bet the senior partner is only concerned that clients may be lost if the young lawyer moves to a competing firm. And, I would bet tons of money that the senior partner is bright enough to understand what it says about the SIL's character.

My concern is that this behaviour is not an isolated event and spills into the marriage.

I feel kinda queezy about this.




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You have done Zero wrong, Zero. Like you I am dismayed by SIL's unethical behaviour. You did well to confine your reaction to an involuntary "look".

Redo your estate planning with an independent executor. Then you can sit down with DD and SIL and discuss the reason why you changed your will. It's entirely possible that SIL may receive other feedback in the meantime. For example, I'd like to know what the senior partner thinks of his integrity. The dinner invitation may be the only reward he gets.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:35 PM   #24
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And, I would bet tons of money that the senior partner is bright enough to understand what it says about the SIL's character.
No one trusts a traitor, especially those who have made use of his services.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:45 PM   #25
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Unfortunately what your SIL is not realising are the likely long term implications of his actions. Yes, he is playing the game for his current puppet master, but what happens down the line when he is looking for a new position. His colleague is not going to ever recommend him and if anything he is likely to let everyone he knows exactly what your SIL did. Your SIL might think that his colleague will never know, but it is likely he will be able to join the dots and work it out for himself as to who the rat was. Your SIL clearly does not recognise the power of networking and is a bit naive if he thinks doing what he is currently doing for the senior partner is going to assure him a bright future where he is. He is being used and he could end up paying a high price, losing the respect of all sides.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:04 PM   #26
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Thanks for the comments, I'm somewhat relieved to know that integrity is still held in esteem by most, I really was wondering if I'm just past my usefulness and into curmudgeonry.

The DW laid down the law when the DD turned sixteen and said "we" are now consultants and no longer managers in the DD's life. That worked most of the time. I suspect the DW is working on a new set of marching orders as we speak. She is visiting the DD right now.

It's the holidays, I really need to chill and then thaw after New Years.

New Year's resolution, wear large sunglasses at dinners.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:12 PM   #27
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Zero, you did the right thing. The problem is that your DD and DW feel the need for family unity, even in the face of misconduct by SIL. In time they will see that you are right. I'd just say nothing more about it and let the truth reveal itself.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:15 PM   #28
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I don't think you did anything wrong at all, I would certainly have reacted the same way you did in such situation. You are entitled to your opinion and should not have to apologize for it to anyone. Just keep that opinion for yourself for your daughter's sake.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:25 PM   #29
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SIL is a weasel. Watch your back.

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Old 12-06-2009, 03:16 PM   #30
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If he were not married to my daughter and going to be at my home quite a bit, it would be an easy one. "None of my business". And even then, still not my business.

He also talked about, "getting the friend to send him an email with the other firm's contact info...", so he could show the senior partner who else was involved.

I have to find a way to have a positive view of his actions.
Thanks for the comments.
Ever heard the expression "Agree to disagree?"

Here comes a very radical dissenting opinion...so get the rotten tomatoes ready.
Disclaimer: I spent 25 years with a very difficult and dysfunctional family, the star beast being my exMIL. The biggest mistake I ever made was to actually give a damn about what she (and they) thought about me or what I did that had no effect on anyone but me.

I personally think the SIL did wrong.
HOWEVER...this is his bogie, not yours. You will not be affected by SIL's actions.
Your daughter married the guy, so...she has to deal with who he is as far as integrity goes. Her bogie.
Point here is...just because in-laws don't agree with something someone else in the family has done or said, it does not mean that camps have to be formed or lines drawn. This type of thing is such a family drama generator. And for what?
You have a right to your opinion and others have no right to tell you how to think. Same goes for SIL. No middlemen need to get involved.
Hence, agree to disagree.
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:20 PM   #31
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Wow, sitting here reading my Living Trust and the associated POAs. Whew, gonna be hard to sleep at night till I can get to see my attorney in Jan.

Lots of emails going out today. Gonna change several things.

Wonder if I can just revoke the current Trust and POAs and start from scratch?
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:21 PM   #32
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Hence, agree to disagree.
Yeah, but take Calmloki's advice and get another executor.
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:35 PM   #33
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freebird, I certainly have to consider my reaction and whether I had existing issues that triggered my frown irrespective of his comment. In other words would I still have frowned if he said, "I helped a colleague get a promotion."

So yeah, am I the meddling FIL in his opinion, if he even knows what I think (which I doubt). Unless the DD chose to interpret my frown for him, cause I have not mentioned a word to DD about my feelings. She simply saw me frown.

My DD is far enough away and busy enough with both their careers that we seldom exchange visits (5-6 times a year) and all have been enjoyable and no issues ever in 4 years of marriage for them.

We will see them at Christmas and his parents will be at dinner, so lots of chance for me to mind my own business.
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:52 PM   #34
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It almost seems like the senior partner asked your SIL to check on the rumor and report back. If so, what was the goal of the senior partner? To get the guy to stay? If that is the case, maybe what your SIL or his boss weren't as bad as we may think. Though it is still iffy.

If the intentions of the senior partner were not so noble, or if your SIL did this on his own to curry favor, the firm culture may be cutthroat and your SIL is getting caught up in the culture. In that case having dinner with the boss is sitting down with the devil and he should run away.

As a former senior partner if an associate had told me something like that about a peer to curry favor I would nod my head, ignore the guy or ask him outright "why are you telling me this," and mentally file it away for future reference. I wouldn't invite him over for diner.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:10 PM   #35
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I had something like this happen when I was an Executive Director. I took no action as a result of the knowledge shared about the staff member. My take away was that the employee doing the blabbing,my bookkeeper, couldn't be trusted, and needed to go.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:14 PM   #36
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I don't really know the culture of his firm, it is in another city 4-5 hours away. The SIL made it clear that he had deliberately engaged the colleague in a confidential conversation and then reported it to the senior partner without permission from the colleage. So I think the colleague would certainly feel he was betrayed if he finds out.

I was a mid-level manager in MegaCorp for my last 10 years and I know that any employee walking thru my door to divulge a private conversation with a colleage got the same response everytime. I asked, "Are you OK if I bring them in here while we discuss this." If the answer was NO, I politely said, "then I think what you found out should remain confidential." "There is the door."





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It almost seems like the senior partner asked your SIL to check on the rumor and report back. If so, what was the goal of the senior partner? To get the guy to stay? If that is the case, maybe what your SIL or his boss weren't as bad as we may think.

If the intentions of the senior partner were not so noble, or if your SIL did this on his own to curry favor, the firm culture may be cutthroat and your SIL is getting caught up in the culture. In that case having dinner with the boss is sitting down with the devil and he should run away.

As a former senior partner if an associate had told me something like that about a peer to curry favor I would nod my head, ignore the guy or ask him outright "why are you telling me this," and mentally file it away for future reference. I wouldn't invite him over for diner.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:43 PM   #37
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Time to go to dinner so thanks for the comments all.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:45 PM   #38
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I don't really know the culture of his firm, it is in another city 4-5 hours away. The SIL made it clear that he had deliberately engaged the colleague in a confidential conversation and then reported it to the senior partner without permission from the colleage. So I think the colleague would certainly feel he was betrayed if he finds out.

I was a mid-level manager in MegaCorp for my last 10 years and I know that any employee walking thru my door to divulge a private conversation with a colleage got the same response everytime. I asked, "Are you OK if I bring them in here while we discuss this." If the answer was NO, I politely said, "then I think what you found out should remain confidential." "There is the door."
I understand . As a former partner in a midsized firm we often knew about each other's business and conversations sometimes just wouldn't be that private or confidential. Again, a culture thing regarding what are people's expectations. I am not saying that I am condoning what your SIL did, but it just might not be as bad as we all tend to think, depending on circumstances and expectations. However, in general I do agree that what associates say between each other are not expected to be reported to partners without permission so everyone's take on this may be correct. I just hate to write your SIL off without really understanding the entire situation.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:01 PM   #39
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freebird, I certainly have to consider my reaction and whether I had existing issues that triggered my frown irrespective of his comment. In other words would I still have frowned if he said, "I helped a colleague get a promotion."

So yeah, am I the meddling FIL in his opinion, if he even knows what I think (which I doubt). Unless the DD chose to interpret my frown for him, cause I have not mentioned a word to DD about my feelings. She simply saw me frown.

My DD is far enough away and busy enough with both their careers that we seldom exchange visits (5-6 times a year) and all have been enjoyable and no issues ever in 4 years of marriage for them.

We will see them at Christmas and his parents will be at dinner, so lots of chance for me to mind my own business.
Not quite what I meant...inferring "meddling" was not my intent. Sorry if it came across that way.
One of my personal strategies in dealing with these circular drama situations was to simply not engage.
Just take a step back and you will be amazed at how quickly the furor can die down.

A maxim I have clung to since high school...
"Go placidly among the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence."
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:21 PM   #40
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I don't necessarily think the SIL was in the wrong, depending on the circumstances. Maybe that's the lawyer in me though. If the SIL's colleague was a snake, or just an acquaintance and not a friend, maybe it was ok. Maybe the firm would have been hurt bad if the SIL's colleague would have tried to steal clients, client list, etc.

If I was in the SIL's shoes, there would be circumstances under which I would consider speaking to a colleague to determine if he was planning on doing something that would impact the firm adversely. Could be that the SIL's firm is on the brink of failure or big layoffs if they lose more business and SIL is partly looking out for himself and partly for the firm. I don't know more about the situation so it is difficult to say for sure.
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