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News and Gossip: Sex and Food Edition

Vivia Chen

September 30, 2019

I don’t know about you, but I am at a saturation point with news about our Dear Leader and his dealings with Ukraine. I know I should be poring over that whistleblower’s complaint, the details of Trump’s conversation with the Ukraine leader and the testimony of acting National Intelligence director Joseph Maguire (the latest contender for the weasel of the year award), but where would that take us? It’ll just get us all riled up, then depressed.

Instead, let me give you something that’s much more invigorating: news and gossip you definitely do not need. Here’s my People magazine edition of the happenings of the day:

Does your job cover you for death via sex? Now that we know our new labor secretary Eugene Scalia has a much more liberal attitude about sexual mores than his dad, I’ve been wondering if he’s ready to apply the French rule to sex on the job.

The New York Times reports: “A court in France has ruled that a man who died from a heart attack after having sex during a business trip had suffered a work-related accident and that his employer was liable.”

Though his employer argued that the man “interrupted his work trip for an adulterous relationship and had therefore acted outside the company’s purview,” the court said it was a work-related accident and that his estate was entitled to the rights and benefits of such accidents.

Pourquoi? Well, the French court seems to take an expansive view of what constitutes job-related activity. It ruled that the law covered employees “engaged in everyday activities” during the business trip, noting that sex is “like having a shower or a meal.”

A business trip without sex? Unthinkable! Only Americans would tolerate such inhumane working conditions.

And what else do the French take seriously besides l’amour? Oh, what a silly question, mon cheri. The answer, of course, is la cuisine. To be precise, la haute cuisine.

The New York Times reports that celebrity chef Marc Veyrat is suing the Michelin Guide after his restaurant La Maison des Bois in the Haute-Savoiegot area got downgraded from three to two stars. Veyrat claims that Michelin’s review process lacks transparency.

Worse, the chef suggests that the Michelin reviewer was incompetent and ignorant. Veyrat claims that the reviewer mistook the complicated cheese concoction in his saffron-infused soufflé for lowly cheddar, “because it was yellow.”

Mon Dieu!

Despite that lower rating, Veyrat admitted that his business has not suffered; in fact, his revenue rose 10% from last year.

So if the Michelin rating didn’t trigger monetary losses, why is Veyrat bothering to sue? Could he be claiming emotional distress? (I don’t know if that’s a thing in the French legal system).

No question, the downgrading has taken a toll on the chef. The Times reports that he told a French magazine: “I feel like my parents have died a second time. Can you imagine the shame I feel: I am the only chef in history to get a third star and then to lose it the next year.”

I know this might not be much consolation, but may I say that I’ve always found Michelin-starred restaurants to be overly precious? Eating at one often feels like a mental act, requiring intellectual exercise as to why the food is supposed to be sublime. Personally, I prefer simpler fare. Guess I’m just a peasant.

Attention singles! Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t alert you to two incredible catches who were just released on the dating market.

Yes, we’re talking about Sarah Palin and Andrew Cuomo. (And you thought I was going to talk about Rudy Giuliani, who’s going through his own messy split. Sorry, but I don’t consider him dating material for anyone.)

In the Palin relationship, it was Todd Palin who initiated the divorce after 31 years of marriage, citing “incompatibility of temperament such that they find it impossible to continue to live together as husband and wife.” And on Sept. 20, Sarah filed her response, according to The Blast. (The court record is sealed.)

For the New York governor, there’s no divorce, as Cuomo and Sandra Lee, his partner of 14 years, were never married. But they seem to be handling the split amicably, issuing a joint statement that reads: “Over the recent past, we have realized that our lives have gone in different directions and our romantic relationship has turned into a deep friendship.”

So mature. And boring!

As between Palin and Cuomo, I’m betting that Palin will be the more fun and exciting date—remember, she’s a moose huntress, a reality TV star and a total wacko (in my humble opinion). Sadly, though, Cuomo is probably more suitable for most lawyers—he’s dour and serious (he’s known as the Dark Prince, OK?).

Oh, I know, you’re apprehensive about approaching either one of them, because you’re just a hardworking stiff and they’re glamorous celebrities. Well, I say shoot them an email and introduce yourself. Be brave.

If you snag either one of them, you will be an obscure lawyer no more.


On Twitter: @lawcareerist


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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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