Monday, November 21, 2011

‘Homeless Halloween’ Firm Goes Under


The 89 employees of a New York law firm specializing in foreclosures who dressed as homeless people during an office Halloween party last year have been thrown out on the street.

Steven J. Baum P.C., a firm that specialized in foreclosures, is closing its doors a month after photos showing employees celebrating Halloween by dressing like the homeless surfaced in a New York Times column by Joe Nocera. Nocera wrote a follow up column this weekend, in which he quoted an angry email he received from Mr. Baum himself. The firm announced the shuttering via press release and was reported by the NYT:

“Disrupting the livelihoods of so many dedicated and hardworking people is extremely painful, but the loss of so much business left us no choice but to file these notices,” said Mr. Baum in a press release issued on Monday. A firm spokesman said it would have no further comment beyond the release…

On Saturday, Joe Nocera, The Times columnist who originally wrote about the firm’s Halloween party, published another column about the controversy. In it, he quoted an e-mail that Mr. Baum had sent him last week.

“Mr. Nocera — You have destroyed everything and everyone related to Steven J. Baum PC,” said the letter. “It took 40 years to build this firm and three weeks to tear down.”

“I think that’s what they call shooting the messenger,” Mr. Nocera said.

It seems the homeless Halloween celebration did the firm in, but it should be noted that Baum’s firm continuously tangled with both the federal government and the New York Attorney General’s office over its practices.

Check out the TPM slide show the festivities here.

No comments: