Two attorneys who were ousted from their new law firm after old emails were released that showed them making offensive comments about women, Jews, gays, and other minorities said they would step away from professional lives to explore "ways in which we can most effectively demonstrate our contrition and commitment to a world characterized by inclusion, kindness and grace."
John Barber and Jeffrey Ranen appeared at the pinnacle of their professional lives a month ago, when they left Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP with at least 120 attorneys to start a new law firm. All of that came crashing down within hours after their old firm released dozens of emails over the weekend dating back to 2008.
The other partners of the new firm, Barber Ranen, asked the men to resign and said they would reconstitute the firm under a new name.
The statement issued late Monday from Barber and Ranen said: "We want to apologize. To everyone. To our families, our friends, our colleagues, and the public who had to read the thoughtless, hurtful and inappropriate words we used and sentiments expressed in the emails recently released by our former law firm.
"The last 72 hours have been the most difficult of our lives, as we have had to acknowledge and reckon with those emails. They are not, in any way, reflections of the contents of our hearts, or our true values. When we started this firm, we announced to the world the purest and truest description of who we are as men and leaders. We stand by those sentiments and insist they are the true measure of our character. Nonetheless, we know that words have power and whether spoken in private or public, they matter. We are ashamed of the words we wrote, and we are deeply sorry," the statement continued
"We have to be better, more vigilant and protective of our values and unfailingly consistent in representing those values in public and in private. We promise we will be. But that said, we understand that there are consequences for our actions. Therefore, we are resigning from Barber Ranen effective immediately in order to allow our friends and colleagues to continue on without the cloud of our conduct hanging over them. We will be taking time away to explore the ways in which we can most effectively demonstrate our contrition and commitment to a world characterized by inclusion, kindness and grace, all qualities we failed to demonstrate in our private correspondence."