Internet Applauds Applicant Who Sued 'Shady' Company for Fraud

A job applicant received online praise after sharing in a now-viral post that he once sued a company he interviewed with for fraud.

Posting in Reddit's "Malicious Compliance" forum under the username u/MeowSchwitzInThere, on Thursday, the applicant, who is a lawyer, said the company in question was a local law firm that plagiarized his work. The post has garnered more than 29,000 upvotes, and over 1,200 comments from Redditors who were stunned by the law firm's "lunacy."

At the beginning of his post, the applicant explained that he works in a "niche-ish" area of law called "discovery."

"Basically when someone starts a legal proceeding each party gets to ask other parties for certain documents relevant to the case. Sometimes parties refuse to produce certain documents because of reasons like attorney-client privilege. I argue why my clients' documents are properly withheld or the other sides' documents are improperly withheld," he explained.

Gavel with money
Online commenters applauded a job applicant who once sued a "shady" company for fraud. LIgorko/istock

The American Bar Association further explained that discovery allows both sides to know what evidence will be presented in court, so as to prevent a "trial by ambush."

During the discovery phase, lawyers often use "four types of formal discovery tools," which include depositions, requests for production of evidence, interrogatories, and requests for admission, according to publishing company Nolo.

Though the process is "critically important," Cohen Law Firm said it is also "incredibly tedious, boring, and time-consuming."

While perusing a job board one day, u/MeowSchwitzInThere found an opening for a full-time research/writing position with a local law firm that required experience in handling discovery disputes.

"This [raised] a red flag for two reasons. First, local law firms normally do not need to hire full-time R&W people because >95 percent of that firm's cases are very similar," he said. "Second, this local firm hired a friend of mine by telling them 'start here, work hard, and move up to senior associate in a few years' before promptly letting them go after a few busy months."

Still, he applied for the position and secured a first-round interview, during which he was asked to produce a writing sample answering a specific legal question.

"So I go home and search a couple of local court dockets and wouldn't you know it this firm is involved in a case with a hearing set on exactly the discovery question they want me to produce a free 'writing sample' on," he wrote.

The applicant agreed to write the sample if, and only if, it guaranteed that he'd be considered for the position. The firm agreed, and the applicant sent off the sample. However, he was never contacted about a second interview and eventually discovered that parts of his sample were used verbatim in the firm's case.

The applicant sent a letter demanding compensation for his work, but the firm ignored it. So, he filed a lawsuit for fraud.

"Oh baby THEN I got a response," the applicant said, adding that the firm threatened to counter-sue.

"I said, 'sounds good, can't wait to lose...I mean, it would be like...easy to win if you never hired for that position. Actually, it would be even easier if you never even had a final interview for the spot. I'm sure you aren't that dumb though.'"

Thirty days later, the applicant received payment.

Redditors React

Redditors were stunned by the law firm's actions and thought the applicant's act of "malicious compliance" was hilarious.

"That is shady as hell," wrote u/Plannerer. "Pure lunacy."

"I don't understand how LAWYERS think that they could trick another LAWYER by BREAKING THE LAW," commented u/Haywoodjablowme1029.

"That is freakin' hilarious! And it isn't like you even have to go to the trouble of hiring an attorney to represent you," added u/BigRiverHome.

The applicant said he had no comment when Newsweek reached out.

Other Viral Moments

Other posters from "Malicious Compliance" to go viral include a worker who took up smoking so that they could take advantage of smoke breaks, a teen who asked for a $75,000 salary from a fast-food restaurant, and a tenant whose landlord threatened to replace their doorknob with one that doesn't lock.

Updated 06/27/2022, at 12:44 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information and background.