Adam Knight is litigation paralegal for the corporate legal department of Reysack Corporation. His boss, Mary Micheau, asked him to do a research memorandum on a case involving contributory negligence. Adam was excited about the project because it was the first time he had researched this area of law and he was interested in the subject. He worked very hard on the project, reading all the cases he could find on it. He proudly turned in the project before the deadline.
A week went by without Mary mentioning Adam’s memorandum. Adam knew the trial was approaching and was anxious to find out whether the memorandum helped the client. He decided he would ask Mary about it when she got back from court in the afternoon. Before she returned, however, Adam noticed that Stuart Kline, the other litigation paralegal, was in the library doing research and had Adam’s memorandum in front of him.
When Adam asked Stuart what he was doing, Stuart replied, “Oh . . . I’m doing research on contributory negligence for Mary.”
“But I did that already,” said Adam. Stuart responded, “Yes, but . . . Mary said that you completely missed the point and asked me to do it over.”
Adam was shocked. He was embarrassed and humiliated in front of a coworker and felt sure that Stuart thought he did inferior work.
a. What were the consequences of Mary’s lack of constructive feedback?
b. What should Mary have done?
c. Imagine that you are Mary and have trouble giving constructive criticism. What do you say to Adam?
d. If you were Adam, what would you do?
e. If you were the office manager, how would you resolve the situation?

  • CreatedFebruary 12, 2015
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