Paizo Leadership Team Update

Monday, November 15, 2021

Over the last six weeks, Paizo's Leadership Team has attempted to better listen to and understand the challenges faced by its workforce, customers, and community. We want to take a moment to update you on a few important developments that have emerged from those conversations.

Before we begin, it's important to note that this update does not address requests regarding salaries, adjustments to the current work-from-home environment, or other matters that are now subject to negotiation with the United Paizo Workers union during collective bargaining.

We’re still searching diligently for a candidate to fill the company’s Human Resources Manager position, and plan to begin interviews very shortly. As this is an incredibly important hire, we want to make sure we find the right candidate with experience leading initiatives related to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) and working with a union. We are continuing to gather resumes as the search continues.

We’ve hired a company called Energage to complete an employee engagement survey on behalf of Paizo. This survey is designed to allow employees to provide anonymous, unfiltered, and honest feedback to the company that will help Paizo establish priorities for improvement planning. It will also serve as an important benchmark against which to measure the results of future surveys, allowing us to develop a baseline to measure against. We expect employees to be able to access the engagement survey sometime this week.

Discussion in the past several months has resurfaced two instances in which a Paizo executive mishandled user data when replying to message board posts, resulting in allegations of doxxing. These actions were contrary to Paizo policy, and corrective actions were taken to ensure that this does not happen again.

“This was a huge mistake on my part and I am deeply sorry for any issues that have arisen from these actions. This was not the right way to treat our customers and I apologize,” said Paizo President Jeff Alvarez. “As President, I know I need to hold myself to a higher standard.”

Paizo takes issues related to discrimination and harassment very seriously. We have hired the law firm of Moritt Hock & Hamroff (MH&H) to investigate allegations of discrimination against trans employees and sexual misconduct before reporting back to the Leadership Team. Investigators from the firm will reach out to members of Paizo’s staff and others that made claims on social media. Cooperation with the firm is voluntary, of course, but we remain committed to investigating these matters thoroughly to ensure a safe and respectful workplace.

We chose MH&H upon the recommendation of a consultant with expertise in matters of DEIB. MH&H has a team of attorneys that specialize in these issues, and we’re confident they’ll be able to provide an impartial analysis of the facts that we need to move forward with any corrective actions.

Because the results of these investigations are private personnel matters, Paizo will not be able to make them public. Corrective actions will be taken against any employee (including managers and executives) found to be guilty of these allegations.

It has never been Paizo’s intention to discriminate against any employee when making decisions of who to send to industry trade shows, but we see now that our room-sharing policy was based on outdated interpretations of gender, was not friendly to transgender employees, and could contribute to a perception of transphobia at the company. Paizo’s Leadership Team acknowledges the pain this caused, and we understand that we need to be better at recognizing issues where such decisions could have unintended results. We also recognize that such actions do not align with Paizo's core values, the values of its staff members, or the sentiments of diversity and inclusion expressed in Paizo products, and as such, have disappointed, angered, and confused members of our community. We believe these mistakes are not representative of who we are, or what we want the company to represent. We need to do better... and we will.

“As the person in charge of trade shows, I want to apologize to anyone that felt marginalized as a result of the convention decision-making process,” said Jeff Alvarez. “It was not our intent to discriminate against anyone, and I’m sorry.”

As previously communicated, Paizo has adopted a one-employee-per-room travel policy moving forward. Regardless of gender identity, couples will be allowed to share rooms during travel as long as both parties request it.

Paizo remains committed to maintaining a diverse, safe, and fun workplace where our employees are treated fairly and look forward to creating awesome Pathfinder and Starfinder products for many years to come. We hope that this update helps communicate that we, the Leadership Team, are doing our best to listen to and address the concerns of our community members. We believe in creating a better Paizo, and believe that transparency, communication, and accountability will be instrumental as we move forward. Thank you for your continued support of our company and our products.

Paizo Leadership Team
David, Erik, Jeff, Jim, Lisa, and Mike

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SnowHeart wrote:


Yet even with all of that, yes, SKR's take says a lot to me. There are serious problems at the top. While I actually think hiring a law firm to do an assessment is a good step (this is my professional background so I see it differently than some others), there will only be positive results from that if senior management is willing to implement them. I may well be late to the party on this, but I'm not seeing a capacity to enact meaningful change after what sounds like years of mistreatment and indifference.

As to the law firm hiring, I also view this as a decently good move to protect employees. I was under the impression that now that there have been revelations with possible discrimination issues and/or sexual harassment, Paizo (who is missing an HR person) needs to investigate these allegations themselves, because if they don't and something comes up in a future court case, they will be held more liable.

I too hope that there are some major changes in how the company is run.


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That is some damning stuff from Sean Reynolds, but the signs have been there for a while even before the events in August.

I guess managers/owners who abuse their power and don't respect their workers hire people like themselves for the other management positions. To me this reads like a company producing RPGs and seeming to occupy one of the very few inclusive spaces in the TTRPG industry which was actually the opposite in the way it treated its employees. As if that whole persona was a lie and mask has been ripped off.

I have supported Paizo since almost day one because they seemed to be decent people, I don't think I am alone in this. I would add that I am a firm believer that you can treat your employees well, pay them a decent salary and still make money. Your best employees will stay, less staff turnover, people feel appreciated rather than exploited because they are desperate to work on and create in the RPG industry, and they will do their best work in that environment.

I honestly don't know what I am going to do next, stop buying Paizo products, move on, or what. I guess just watch and be guided by what is coming from the union.


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pauljathome wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Funny how folks trust the cis man and not the trans women.

I've probably lost track, but has there been any public statement of transphobia against Paizo by any trans woman EXCEPT for Crystal?

I certainly got the impression that Crystal was nearly universally believed. I certainly completely believed her.

Assuming I remember you correctly not only has there been in a fit of irony you were kicked out of your Organized Play position speaking out about the circumstances involving it. Now at the time did I actively say it was involving transphobia. No but that's only because I was coming to terms with being transgender on top of the dealing with gaslit, abused, and being manipulated to try and abuse other transgender people by a venture captain who Tonya knew was harassing people.

That's what angers me about the whole Jessica Price thing is because there was ample evidence she was right. I mean remember you had a freelancer last year who Paizo admitted to treating transphobicly. Crystal Fraiser had been beating that drum independent of Price for years and in one case was complaining about active real life harassment that was left on the message boards. In another instance the freelancer who Im not going to name ended up having their stalkers promoted on the Paizo twitter. Its obvious that you care more about a vendetta involving a women who has every right to be angry than the safety of all the employees.

EDIT:
Also, my new RVC kicked the venture captain out of his position independent of me so its not like people didn't take it seriously. Hell even Tonya's replacement took the issue more seriously than Tonya ever did.


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Nightfox wrote:
SnowHeart wrote:


Yet even with all of that, yes, SKR's take says a lot to me. There are serious problems at the top. While I actually think hiring a law firm to do an assessment is a good step (this is my professional background so I see it differently than some others), there will only be positive results from that if senior management is willing to implement them. I may well be late to the party on this, but I'm not seeing a capacity to enact meaningful change after what sounds like years of mistreatment and indifference.

As to the law firm hiring, I also view this as a decently good move to protect employees. I was under the impression that now that there have been revelations with possible discrimination issues and/or sexual harassment, Paizo (who is missing an HR person) needs to investigate these allegations themselves, because if they don't and something comes up in a future court case, they will be held more liable.

I too hope that there are some major changes in how the company is run.

The law firm is pretty obviously a cynical move. Someone did some checking into them (too tired to remember who at the moment) and what they found is not encouraging. Expect to hear a lot of corporate waffling and refusal to take responsibility.


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Viggi wrote:
I guess managers/owners who abuse their power and don't respect their workers hire people like themselves for the other management positions. To me this reads like a company producing RPGs and seeming to occupy one of the very few inclusive spaces in the TTRPG industry which was actually the opposite in the way it treated its employees. As if that whole persona was a lie and mask has been ripped off.

Execs and their flunkies are not and never have been the whole company. They're just parasites latched on and benefiting from the work of others. I'm not going to try to tell you to spend money on a company you aren't comfortable with supporting but the people that worked hard to make Pathfinder such a wonderful and inclusive game are still there. I'm still hopeful the union can hold those responsible for the abysmal conditions to account and push for real change, change that might see the return of at least some of the wonderful folks who the execs have chased off. If we keep raising a stink about the creeps in power, we might even be able to force change there too. This isn't Activision, they don't have the power of someone like Bobby Kotick.

My ideal world is definitely seeing Paizo reorganized into a worker-owned cooperative but while the union was a heck of a surprise, I think that might be a bridge too far.


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Also to clarify my statement I wasn't saying the post I was responding to didn't care but people who are whining about how mean she is don't care. Even I have my issues with Price but you don't see me talking about how mean she was because that's not the important part.


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Remember also that a big part of why people took Price's words with a grain of salt is that Sara Marie commented in regards to her Twitter thread full of allegations to the effect that she is a "clout chaser".

I think many (myself included) took that to mean that the allegations were exaggerated or biased, but in hindsight and with further context it seems that was not the intended meaning.


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Storm Dragon wrote:

Remember also that a big part of why people took Price's words with a grain of salt is that Sara Marie commented in regards to her Twitter thread full of allegations to the effect that she is a "clout chaser".

I think many (myself included) took that to mean that the allegations were exaggerated or biased, but in hindsight and with further context it seems that was not the intended meaning.

The way I interpreted what she said was that they are decent kind people working at this company and that by doing what she did was going to make the situation harder on those people which I think is as perfectly accurate statement.

EDIT:
Its not one you normally have to think about unless you are put in that position so I understand.


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I would imagine many many people have interacted with SKR the most out of all the people who have come forward. Personally speaking, when one of your former lead designers says don't work at Paizo, that's indicative of a pretty massive dumpster fire on top of everything Sara Marie, Diego, and Jessica have corroborated.

I'm pretty pessimistic about this whole thing. Especially with the shenanigans of hiring a law firm to do...corporate things, I really have no hope for Paizo unless the Union really starts picking up traction and goes into full effect soon. Companies usually try to delay these things as long as possible.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Brian Bauman wrote:
Brian Bauman wrote:

I opened up a critical priority ticket to resolve the issue whereby new aliases/organized play characters will have their base names autogenerated from a user's full name, leaking that information unless the user manually adjusts it.

Obviously this behavior is entirely unacceptable, and I will personally ensure we expedite and push the fix as quickly as we possibly can.

Hey everyone.

I know this thread has moved on a bit, but I just wanted to follow up on this and inform everyone that today we deployed a fix for this issue, as well as a similar change to make volunteer posts in the Organized Play forums use avatar names rather than the volunteers' names.

Thanks for this Brian!! Also I sent you a private message if you could look at it at your earliest convenience. Thanks! :)

Liberty's Edge

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Not surprised in the least.

Just sad that Golarion and PF2 belong to Paizo and cannot be the seed of a fresh start by the decent employees.

Dark Archive

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Nightfox wrote:


As to the law firm hiring, I also view this as a decently good move to protect employees. I was under the impression that now that there have been revelations with possible discrimination issues and/or sexual harassment, Paizo (who is missing an HR person) needs to investigate these allegations themselves, because if they don't and something comes up in a future court case, they will be held more liable.

I too hope that there are some major changes in how the company is run.

The law firm will do one thing, recommend whatever is best to protect their client. That client is Paizo, not their staff.


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Richard Lowe wrote:
Nightfox wrote:


As to the law firm hiring, I also view this as a decently good move to protect employees. I was under the impression that now that there have been revelations with possible discrimination issues and/or sexual harassment, Paizo (who is missing an HR person) needs to investigate these allegations themselves, because if they don't and something comes up in a future court case, they will be held more liable.

I too hope that there are some major changes in how the company is run.

The law firm will do one thing, recommend whatever is best to protect their client. That client is Paizo, not their staff.

I can confirm, what we lawyers do is destroy people whom our client asks us to destroy.


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Sigh. So, I'm not interested in arguing the point over much because, as I said, I'm no longer confident in senior management to accept the recommendations. But I can assure you hiring a law firm to provide an assessment of workplace conditions is neither uncommon nor innately malicious. I've been one of those lawyers and I most assuredly did not go about it to destroy the employees. Rather, we interviewed the relevant people, prepared reports that assessed risks including problems with policies and procedures, including acts or omissions by management and made recommendations for improvements. And that was the extent of the engagements. But if folks want to see ill intent in this too, who am I to argue. Maybe they're right. I doubt it, but I've been wrong before.

PS, In defense of the profession, if you see your job as a lawyer is to destroy other people and you're taking clients who want you to do that, you may be in the wrong profession. I always saw my job as protecting people and their rights, whether it was employer/management side or employee. It saddens me to think people see their professional obligation in such a way.


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I love it when lawyers rise to defend their profession. Doubly so when they have to defend it from other lawyers :)

I mean, this isn't a rocket science case. You have owners of a company who promoted an apparently deeply incompetent manager who in turn promoted another deeply incompetent manager. What you do is fire both and remove your head from that particular orifice in your body.

Are you capable of that? Great, do it. Then promote some competent people. Sit down with them and talk about what went wrong, apologize to everyone who got screwed over, hire some "repairing your business" consultancy.

Are you not capable of that? Well, you've just spent the money - which you apparently didn't have around when people wanted raises towards living wages - on a bunch of lawyers in bad blocky 90s suits with even worse blocky suitcases to run an "investigation" which will lead nowhere because your head is still stuck in that particular orifice.

And that's it. Not knocking on your experience working with people who genuinely want to fix something.

OK, I now demand 50 bucks for this high grade business/legal advice, whom can I invoice?


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Send it to Jeff.

Grand Lodge

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm honestly glad they never replied to my applications.

I thank my lucky stars that Tonya was hired instead of me. I cannot even imagine where I would be today if I was hired by Paizo.

keftiu wrote:
Funny how folks trust the cis man and not the trans women.

This certainly appears to be some credibility to that perspective, though I will say that there are quite a few of us, including CIS white hetero males, who have been making similar claims for a while and have been largely dismissed because of Paizo's carefully cultivated illusion of inclusiveness based on their creative content. No one wanted to believe that people working there could be so different than the product they produced.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
A male designer having sex at a convention with a female volunteer of the company (consensual, but clearly there is a certain level of power/prestige disparity that makes it questionable).

This one distinctly sticks out to me since I know this very situation occurred between a staffer (who is still employed at Paizo) and a volunteer (who was married at the time, and who has since been black-listed). I cannot speak to whether or not it is the same person/s that SRK is referring to. That it was between two consenting adults is the only reason I think it did not garner louder public attention, but it was certainly well-known within a meaningful portion of the organized play community.

Let me be clear—-I am not suggesting anything criminal or even inappropriate occurred, but there was certainly an atmosphere of uneasiness around them and burbled (unsubstantiated) rumors of special/preferential treatment made by a few. Apparently, it was not appreciated by upper management as it lead directly to an official ban on volunteers and non-staff being in the hotel rooms of staffers.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I mean, it's not the hiring of the law firm a lot of us are taking issue with, it's the lying about the law firm. They bold-face lied about the specialization of the firm, when all it took customers was one Google to see that they do not have any focus on DEI cases but instead on Family Law.


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(As a brief aside: CIS is not capitalized like that, unless you’re talking about the Confederacy of Independent Systems from Star Wars - it’s just cisgender and transgender, or cis and trans more colloquially.)


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keftiu wrote:
(As a brief aside: CIS is not capitalized like that, unless you’re talking about the Confederacy of Independent Systems from Star Wars - it’s just cisgender and transgender, or cis and trans more colloquially.)

I'm not sure where the "cis is an acronym" myth started, but that's probably where their confusion comes from.


And the Commonwealth of Independent States, which if you're a Dota fan means you get to see lots of people say "CIS is so stupid".


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actually CIS stands for Content with Involuntary Sexing, not a lot of people know that

Explaining The Joke:
I am using "Sexing" as the term for gauging the sex and gender of creatures, as in "Black Sex-Link chicken". This is not One Of Those Jokes.

Horizon Hunters

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TwilightKnight wrote:

Let me be clear—-I am not suggesting anything criminal or even inappropriate occurred, but there was certainly an atmosphere of uneasiness around them and burbled (unsubstantiated) rumors of special/preferential treatment made by a few. Apparently, it was not appreciated by upper management as it lead directly to an official ban on volunteers and non-staff being in the hotel rooms of staffers.

Hang on a second.

Now, I know the two people to whom you are referring, and that whole incident. It was all gossipy and whatnot, but at the time, I didn’t think it really it was a major issue. Unseemly? Maybe. And if one of the participants was married, that’s for them to deal with.

BUT.

Upper management didn’t appreciate this episode, but they tolerated a policy that allowed discrimination based on gender or gender identity? Like, THAT was okay, but two people shacking up wasn’t okay?

What are the priorities of this company’s leadership, because they are not at all evident to me.

(As an aside, if this volunteer was blacklisted as a result of that whole thing, that’s just wrong - the person who should have been disciplined would be the staff person who engaged in this behavior, not the volunteer.)

Grand Lodge

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Mark Stratton wrote:
Upper management didn’t appreciate this episode

IIRC, there were no objections (at least not officially) until there was some level of disagreement (for lack of a better word) between the parties that began to spill out beyond the limitations of the two involved. "Office" romances oft end in an uncomfortable situation even in the best of circumstances and this one appears to have been far from that.

Personally, I couldn't care less who you choose to spend your personal time with, as long as it doesn't negatively affect your "business" activities. When that occurs, it is no longer just a personal issue.

Mark Stratton wrote:
if this volunteer was blacklisted as a result of that whole thing

She was not--at least not as far as I was aware. There were a number of other unrelated issues that, when accumulated, accounted for the action taken.

Horizon Hunters

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks for clearing that up, TK. I read it as that person was blacklisted for this activity, not that there were other things that led to it. Thanks for that.

Still don’t know what Paizo executives were thinking.

Grand Lodge

Brian Bauman wrote:
...change to make volunteer posts in the Organized Play forums use avatar names rather than the volunteers' names.

So, the public faces of the organized play campaign are no longer identifiable?


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TwilightKnight wrote:
Brian Bauman wrote:
...change to make volunteer posts in the Organized Play forums use avatar names rather than the volunteers' names.
So, the public faces of the organized play campaign are no longer identifiable?

They are perfectly able to identify themselves if they choose to.


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
I can confirm, what we lawyers do is destroy people whom our client asks us to destroy.

Well, this explains, like, a lot of what happened here the last decade.

Grand Lodge

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The Inheritor wrote:
They are perfectly able to identify themselves if they choose to.

That's not exactly how org play leadership works, but I left that role long ago, so don't really care anymore. Just found it to be odd that a voluntary public figure with one of their primary functions being recruitment and accessibility to the community, especially people who are not currently participating, would not be identified as such. I have come to realize that I have a much different opinion on privacy than many in this community.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
I can confirm, what we lawyers do is destroy people whom our client asks us to destroy.
Well, this explains, like, a lot of what happened here the last decade.

Did... you really not know Gorbacz is a lawyer? Not that that is Gorbacz, of course not, but really?

Then again, you also seem to be immune to... Um huh. Okay, linguistic question - if you are being sarcastic, then you are employing sarcasm. If you are being facetious, then you are employing...? I really don't know the word here. I wanted to default to "facetism" but if you say it aloud that's something else entirely. :)

----

...More seriously, and more on topic... I found Paizo's statement moderately heartening, and Sean's addition of more kindling to the fire very disheartening. I'm not presently in a position where I can stop supporting Paizo entirely - too many people beyond myself would be disappointed by the loss of their weekly fun - but it's shocking that it's come to a level where I'd even find myself thinking about that.

Paizo, I'm typically one of your staunchest supporters. It hurts to find out how undeserving of that support you have been.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Um huh. Okay, linguistic question - if you are being sarcastic, then you are employing sarcasm. If you are being facetious, then you are employing...? I really don't know the word here. I wanted to default to "facetism" but if you say it aloud that's something else entirely. :)

Facetiousness.


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MaxAstro wrote:

Did... you really not know Gorbacz is a lawyer? Not that that is Gorbacz, of course not, but really?

Then again, you also seem to be immune to... Um huh. Okay, linguistic question - if you are being sarcastic, then you are employing sarcasm. If you are being facetious, then you are employing...? I really don't know the word here. I wanted to default to "facetism" but if you say it aloud that's something else entirely. :)

Nope, it's not as if he went advertising the fact anywhere else I had to see him in the last decade.

And if you perceive what he has been doing for those years as facetiousness... well, that's your perception problem, I'd say.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, you can’t see his constant references to his job when you have him blocked, so fair enough.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Well, you can’t see his constant references to his job when you have him blocked, so fair enough.

Blocking ain't a thing unless you have the script for it (and I lost that years ago in some forum update), but I honestly never saw him reference his job before. I'm not constantly checking his posting history and keep (and have kept) to threads of my interest throughout the years, after all. I well may have missed a prior reference or even forgot one. Not getting younger, here. ^^

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Script link is right here at the bottom.


Thanks, although that just greys out posts, which is not the same as the old blocking script.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Huh, I haven't had cause to block people, so I didn't notice.

Edit: Oh, there's a preference you can set to greyed out or hide.


Uh, let me look for that... yes, there it is! Many thanks!


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
I can confirm, what we lawyers do is destroy people whom our client asks us to destroy.

This is 100% false. What mail order law school did you go to? This is NOT what attorneys do, and it is pretty insulting to the profession.

If that is what YOU do, then fine - say that.


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I have a good lawyer friend. The way she tells it, there are two kinds of lawyers: Evil lawyers, and dirt-poor ones.

Or ones whose parents paid their tuition, I guess.


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Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
I can confirm, what we lawyers do is destroy people whom our client asks us to destroy.

This is 100% false. What mail order law school did you go to? This is NOT what attorneys do, and it is pretty insulting to the profession.

If that is what YOU do, then fine - say that.

I'm sorry, we don't have mail order law schools in Europe, is that an American thing?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
I can confirm, what we lawyers do is destroy people whom our client asks us to destroy.

This is 100% false. What mail order law school did you go to? This is NOT what attorneys do, and it is pretty insulting to the profession.

If that is what YOU do, then fine - say that.

It is generally suggested not to take bags of devouring too seriously - they have a reputation in these parts for not taking themselves very seriously, after all.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
I can confirm, what we lawyers do is destroy people whom our client asks us to destroy.

This is 100% false. What mail order law school did you go to? This is NOT what attorneys do, and it is pretty insulting to the profession.

If that is what YOU do, then fine - say that.

It is generally suggested not to take bags of devouring too seriously - they have a reputation in these parts for not taking themselves very seriously, after all.

I'm sorry, but I'm a proper bag of holding II. You must be confusing me with somebag else.


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
I can confirm, what we lawyers do is destroy people whom our client asks us to destroy.

This is 100% false. What mail order law school did you go to? This is NOT what attorneys do, and it is pretty insulting to the profession.

If that is what YOU do, then fine - say that.

I'm sorry, we don't have mail order law schools in Europe, is that an American thing?

All right - then I’ll give you credit for not being aware of the American legal system,


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Yeah, bad lawyers are illegal over here.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, bad lawyers are illegal over here.

... or they charge an arm and a leg.


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Thank you SKR for adding your voice. Upper management is a hot mess, hotter and messier than I thought.


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I’ll put it this way.

If Paizo genuinely recognized that their perspective with respect to trans rights was wrong, then utilizing a law firm is really the only credible way of addressing the issue. The law firm would then be dedicated to helping them develop processes And procedures to help protect them from allegations of bigotry in the future.

As a secondary observation, Google reviews are worthless in assessing law firms. Big law firms don’t care about them, and their clients aren’t going to rate them. So all you are going to see are the “exceptions”, not the rule.


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Any group hired on solely by the execs is going to have a vested interest in making their clients happy. That vested interest represents a distinct conflict of interest with the stated goal of performing an honest investigation. However, it does not create a conflict of interest if their goal is merely to give the appearance of doing something while protecting their clients' interests and possibly making sure they are legally protected against any potential lawsuits from the people they have hurt and exploited.

The only way I would trust a law firm hired to perform an investigation as a neutral third party is if they were hired as part of a joint action by the execs and the union or just the union.

This is the execs realizing they have profoundly screwed up the situation and circling the wagons against accountability before their opposition is fully organized.


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"Master Han Del of the Web” wrote:
This is the execs realizing they have profoundly screwed up the situation and circling the wagons against accountability before their opposition is fully organized.

Hey, nothing I am going to say is going to overcome raw cynicism. Yes, a firm hired by the the company is going to look out for the best interests of the company.

But looking out for the best interests of a company doesn’t necessarily mean sweeping issues under the rug. A good firm going to gather evidence, evaluate facts, and advise their client on a course of action.

Let me say for clarity: I am not arguing that this is a good firm to handle an investigation, or that the outcome of the investigation will be the “right” outcome. And Paizo could get good advice and choose to disregard it.

But if your argument is that BECAUSE Paizo hired a firm it is PROOF that they are acting in bad faith, well, you are wrong.

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