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Author Topic: Law career derailed by pregnancy
snopes
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Comment: This is a story I heard about from a lady I knew at work who
SWORE that it happened to a cousin of hers in Massachusetts. According to
the story, said cousin was a secretary at Harvard Law School and became
involved with a student who was about to marry the daughter of a prominent
local attorney. At any rate, the involvement led to pregnancy, and the
paramour offered only to help the girl obtain a secret abortion (this
supposedly occurred in the early 60's, so aborting an out-of-wedlock child
would be not only emabarrassing but illegal).

And so the young woman decided to sue the father for support. But it was
necessary to prove paternity as best as could be done in those days, and
so a subpeona for a blood test was drawn up by a lawyer hired by the
girl's family. A process sever supposedly handed the subpeona to the
young man in question--just moments after he had married his fiancee and
as they were leaving the church for the reception. According to the lady
telling me this, that union "didn't make it to the limousine." In the
aftermath, the couple married, but the groom had to finish law school at
the University of Iowa and his career never quite achieved the success it
would have if he had been a graduate of Harvard Law and a member of a
prominent firm in Boston. She insists that his moment of shame was even
captured by television cameras. Could it be true?

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1958Fury
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Comment: This is a story I heard about from a lady I knew at work who SWORE that it happened to a cousin of hers in Massachusetts.

Oh, then it must be true.

--------------------
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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
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My mother is a lawyer who was in college in Massachusetts in the mid-60s. As I read the story and thought about her own comments about life and gender politics back then, one thing leapt to mind. This story has the man getting punished for his indiscretion. According to my mom, it didn't usually work out that way at all unless the woman was from a powerful family. Even if it were true, I doubt he would have had to move to Iowa (which incidentally isn't a bad law school, though it isn't Harvard). And the timing - being accosted at the wedding - has UL written all over it.

--------------------
Another lifetime I'd have fallen in love with you
Swept away by my feelings, ashamed and confused
But just now it's enough to be walking with you
Let the mystery play as it will! -Lui Collins

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Artemis
The First USA Noel


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Wait...so the woman sued him for support after he was going to marry someone else? Or was he marrying the pregnant one? In which case, there'd be no need to sue for child support...

In any case, if he was engaged to her and she got pregnant, couldn't they just speed up the wedding? Wouldn't be the first time a baby was born two months "premature."

--------------------
"You can't play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble Puppy."
-Mustapha Mond, "Brave New World"

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Elsie
Deck the Malls


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I read it as he was engaged to someone but was playing around with the school seceretary who just happened to get pregnant. The gent offered to pay for an abortion, but the secretary apparently didn't like that option so she sued him for paternal support, despite the fact that he was still proceeding with the marriage to the other woman.

As for Ramblin' Dave's point - I agree that bad things ususally didn't (and still don't) happen to men in these situations. The scorn always falls on the woman who has the nerve to have sex and then get preganant on top of it. Also, I doubt the pregnant woman would have been the daughter of someone prominent enough to derail the guy's career or else she wouldn't have been a secretary to begin with. On the other hand, the UL does say that the woman to whom he was engaged/married was the daughter of someone prominent, so maybe Daddy Warbucks was sufficently embarrassed by the wedding debacle to derail the guy's career.

Having said all that, my biggest problem with the whole story is that it's based on the supposition of what the guy's career WOULD have been had all this not happened. Just because he finished law school at Harvard and presumably went to work for wifey's prominent lawyer-daddy certainly doesn't guarantee that he would have had a stellar career. And just because he ended up at a lower level school (which I doubt would have had to have happened) doesn't mean that his career was completely trashed. The UL even says that "his career never quite achieved the success it
would have", which implies to me that he did achieve SOME measure of success. Overall, I just think it's a really stupid story that doesn't mean anything to anyone, except to those people supposedly involved. Heck, there's not even a famous name attached to it so it's not even good gossip.

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I'm an excellent speller, but a lousy typist.
"Just so you know, the words 'just' and 'cramps' - they don't go together." - Ginger Snaps

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Artemis
The First USA Noel


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Ah. So basically, it's an American Tragedy, only with less murder. Also, the guy in question actually was engaged to someone, and not just a poseur social climber.

--------------------
"You can't play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble Puppy."
-Mustapha Mond, "Brave New World"

Posts: 679 | From: New York | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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