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Did Ted Genoways Cross the Line?

September 28, 2010

The reverberations from the self-directed gunshot that killed Kevin Morrisey last summer are still being heard. Morrisey was managing editor of the prestigious literary journal the Virginia Quarterly Review. Because his suicide happened just as relationships at the VQR workplace were reaching a critical mass of dysfunction, and because emails sent to Morrisey by his boss, editor Ted Genoways, appeared to contribute to the acrimonious climate, Genoways has suddenly found himself in the national spotlight, defending himself against suggestions that he pushed his colleague to pull the trigger.

The tragic story is interesting for its legal, as well as its human, elements. The portrayal of Genoways as a “cyber-bully” depends upon emails that were sent specifically in the context of the workplace, or at least of workplace relationships. In a long investigative article published yesterday in Slate, Emily Bazelon explores this dimension, and contributes new information that had not yet come to light in media coverage the story.

Read more about the legal issues surrounding workplace communications — including emails, harassment, and bullying — in our Law Firm Memos database. Just combine these and other relevant keywords with the practice area “Labor & Employment” law.  For example, see this recent memo by the Employment Litigation Practice Group at Weil Gotschal & Manges LLP.

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