I’m sure most lawyers practicing in the US have heard of Ann Oldfather. If you haven’t, you may want to read this profile. She just won a $6.1 million verdict for Louise Ogborn in the highly publicized McDonald’s strip-search trial. She’s aggressive –to use one of the nicer words to describe her.
Her defenders say she came by her bruising style in the 1970s, when many male lawyers didn’t take her seriously.
“She had to make them understand she was not one to be messed around with,” said Bob Ewald, who was her partner when she practiced at Wyatt Tarrant & Combs.
Others say that the pejoratives thrown at her show she is still the target of prejudice today.
“They call her a bitch,” said her friend Franklin, “but if she were a man, they’d call her ‘hard charging.’ “
Sadly, it’s 2007 and some of my female friends who are lawyers tell me that some older male lawyers still have trouble taking them seriously and are quite condescending. And the natural reflex is to be harsher and more abrasive.