Ask Muffie: Cause and Effect

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Muffie Benson-Perella (muffie AT dealbreaker.com) is an Associate in the Investment Banking Division of a "Bulge Bracket" bank. She holds a B.A. in French and Art from Vassar College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Her regular column "Heard in the Suite" is a probing (and, ahem, fictional) weekly look into the secret lives and behind the velvet curtains of the investment banking world.
Dear Muffie:
I am considering going to law school in order to be a "deal lawyer" but I am worried because I hear there is a lot of discussion of "cause and effect" in law school. These are concepts that are foreign to me. Can you help with a female perspective on "cause and effect" and how it impacts the banking profession?
Betsy "Boom-Boom" Baylor

Dear Boom-Boom:
The best way for me to teach you is by example, so I am including some real-life cause and effect examples from investment banks that involve a legal element.
Example #1: Email from work account

Cause:

-----Original Message-----
From: associate@prestigiousbank.com
Sent: May 20, 2007 4:35 PM
To: associate2@prestigiousbank.com
Subject: test
hey - iwas wondering if you knew anything that could help me pass a saliva/mouth swab test? i think I'm pretty screwed.

Effect:

From: dirhr@prestigiousbank.com (Director of Human Resources)
Sent: May 20, 2007 7:36 PM
Required: Associate; Cindy Reardon (Vice President, Human Resources); Robert Moss (Office of the General Counsel); Richard Fossbath (Managing Director, Investment Banking Division)
When:May 21, 2007 8:00 AM-8:30 AM
Location: Conference Room A, Human Resources, 35th Floor
Accept | Tentative | Decline | Calendar...
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Example #2: AIM conversation from work wireless

Cause:

12:50:43 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Hi beth!
12:50:51 PM ohheyitsbeth: hello
12:50:57 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Hey, what are you wearing?
12:51:12 PM ohheyitsbeth: may i ask who i'm speaking to
12:51:23 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Sure, if you tell me what you're wearing.
12:52:08 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Are you wearing ripped jeans?
12:52:49 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: If not, I'll rip them for ya!
12:53:04 PM ohheyitsbeth: hah
12:53:07 PM ohheyitsbeth: uh
12:54:11 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: That's hot, by the way. I'm in the bathroom, and I'm hard.
12:54:24 PM ohheyitsbeth: where do you work
12:54:36 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Prestigious Investment Bank, duh.
12:54:44 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Wanna cyber?
12:54:58 PM ohheyitsbeth: you are in the bathroom at PIB? my IM's are monitored by carney
12:55:05 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Yeah! So?
12:55:15 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: The IT guy here gets off on it!
12:55:16 PM ohheyitsbeth: so that would be uncomfortable
12:55:24 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: You bet it will, I'm HUGE!
12:57:31 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Hello?
12:59:32 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Hello?
Effect:
From: dirhr@prestigiousbank.com (Director of Human Resources)
Sent: June 3, 2007 7:36 PM
Required: Associate; Cindy Reardon (Vice President, Human Resources); Robert Moss (Office of the General Counsel); Richard Fossbath (Managing Director, Investment Banking Division); Craig Ballows (Information Technology)
When:June 4, 2007 8:00 AM-8:30 AM
Location: Conference Room A, Human Resources, 35th Floor
Accept | Tentative | Decline | Calendar...
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Example #3: Conference Call
Cause:
-bew beep-
Announcer: "Now attending... Associate."
-bew beep-
Announcer: "Now attending... Associate 2."
Associate 2: "Hey, anyone on?"
Associate: "Hey man, it's Associate."
Associate 2: "Anyone else on?"
Associate: "Not yet I don't think."
Associate 2: "Man, what happened to you last night?"
Associate: "Oh fuck, after you left we went to Tina's with all that blow I had."
Associate 2: "No way! That chick is smoking too!"
Associate: "She was smoking it alright, trust me."
Associate 2: "What time did you get home?"
Associate: "Fuck that, we did blow all night. I haven't slept yet?"
Associate 2: "Aren't you supposed to be finishing the deck for Bob "The Castrator" Lindgom?"
Associate: "Lindgom? Are you kidding? His reputation is all bullshit. I've snuck half-assed work by that guy for months. He doesn't care at all. Seriously. He loves me. He couldn't find his own ass with GPS coordinates, but whatever, I'm almost done with this rotation anyhow which is so bonus because, have you seen his daughter? Todd met her in NA so you know she likes the blow. I got her number from Lindgom's datebook. I'm totally gonna tap that hot ass."
-beep bew-
Announcer: "Now departing... Bob Lindgom."
Effect:

From: dirhr@prestigiousbank.com (Director of Human Resources)
Sent: June 9, 2007 3:36 PM
Required: Associate; Cindy Reardon (Vice President, Human Resources); Robert Moss (Office of the General Counsel); Richard Fossbath (Managing Director, Investment Banking Division); Bob Lindgom (Managing Director, Investment Banking Division)
When:June 9, 2007 5:00 PM-5:30 PM
Location: Conference Room A, Human Resources, 35th Floor
Accept | Tentative | Decline | Calendar...
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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