Yesterday afternoon I was in court, and this attorney I know was like, “I haven’t seen S (former business partner) recently, what’s up with him?” And I was like…oh, you haven’t heard huh? So I gave him the short, public version of the break-up story. A couple of other attorneys were nearby, and I could tell they were listening, too. I have made sure not to say anything bad about him, not to give too many details, and to make it seem like it was a mutual decision. I want him to be able to save face.
I had to tell this same version several times on Saturday night as well. We went to a birthday party for a friend/colleague and it was attended by many attorneys/trustees from the local bankruptcy bar. (Speaking of, I’m pretty sure I drunkenly told two creditor attorneys about the crush I’ve had on one of our judges for the last 13 years – not that it’s much of a secret really. Lol).
Anyway – my original point was that it felt sort of awkward to discuss the break up in such a public way, but obviously people are curious, and nobody really seems all that surprised. I think most people already knew it couldn’t last long term. I’m actually not sure that any two partner firm can last long term – it’s just an awkward set up with too much room for things to go wrong, and not enough man power to make real money. Splitting fees with someone who you feel isn’t pulling their weight is a fast track to bitterness, let me tell you. You almost need to have at least three partners so that two can gang up on the one when necessary.
You live, you learn.
2 thoughts on “telling the story”
Amen. From another context, a partnership where each partner has opposite strengths and weaknesses makes absolute sense… until they disagree (which, of course they have to because they are opposites) and when the happens the 50/50 split can’t work longterm without major resentment. The longest I’ve seen that sort of partnership go is seven years. Once you’ve established what the business looks like, got it moving with momentum, gotten out from under the initial debt burden, then the constant compromise and frustration always breaks things up. From my work history anyway.
We made it nine years. I think that’s pretty damn impressive.
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