Bratty Lawyer Vs. Mom and Pop Over 4 Dollars [Pic]

Submitted by: melcervini 2 years ago in

Attorney Benjamin Edelman Internet Sheriff on ill-advised crusade

The level of stupidity that service industry workers and owners encounter interacting with the public is astonishing. Last week a Boston restaurant owner and food truck operator shared the story about a woman who called and was irate because her nephew didnt get the exact hamburger he wanted. Her nephew and his friend only paid $7.50 for two burgers (one was comped because of a communication error), but the woman demanded a $30 refund. I know, fuzzy math. He ended up sending her a $10 gift card to keep the peace. It never ends.

This one fromHilary SargentatBoston.comis tough to beat. Im sharing it to add to the justified public shaming that is happening as I type, and to ensure that as many restaurant industry workers as possible know whatBenjamin Edelmanlooks like. Adjust your reservation black lists accordingly.

Ive reached out to Benjamin and the dean of the Harvard Business School (where he purportedlyteaches negotiations) for comment.

FromBens website: Ben holds a Ph.D. from theDepartment of EconomicsatHarvard University, a J.D. from theHarvard Law School, an A.M. inStatisticsfrom theHarvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and an A.B. in Economics fromHarvard College(summa cum laude). He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

Not a whole lot of common sense or street smarts from a guy with so many degrees


Ben Edelman (left) and Ran Duan (right)

By Hilary Sargent, Boston.com Staff | 12.09.14 | 3:28 PM

Ben Edelmanis anassociate professor at Harvard Business School, where he teaches in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets unit.

Ran Duan managesThe Baldwin Bar, located inside the Woburn location ofSichuan Garden, a Chinese restaurant founded by his parents.

Last week, Edelman ordered what he thought was $53.35 worth of Chinese food fromSichuan Gardens Brookline Village location.

Edelman soon came to the horrifying realization that he had been overcharged. By a total of $4.

If youve ever wondered what happens when a Harvard Business School professor thinks a family-run Chinese restaurant screwed him out of $4, youre about to find out.(Hint: It involves invocation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute and multiple threats of legal action.)

Surprised yet? We were, too.

In addition to teaching at HBS, Edelman also operates a consulting practice where he advises clients like Microsoft, the NFL, the New York Times, and Universal Music on preventing and detecting online fraud (especially advertising fraud). (Thats fromEdelmans own website, which it seems safe to presume is always kept up to date.)

He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Ran Duan moved to the U.S. from China when he was 3-years-old. His father had hoped to support the family with a career as an opera singer, but when that didnt pan out, Duan says like all Chinese families we decided to open up a restaurant.

Sichuan Garden opened its doors in Brookline in the early 1990s. A second location followed in Woburn.

Despite the restaurants successful expansion, Duan admittted that Sichuan does not have the budget for teams devoted to public relations or a website that is updated as regularly as it should be.


Screenshot of Sichuan Gardens website as of December 9.

I personally respond to every complaint and try to handle every situation personally, said Duan, who was profiled byBoston Magazinein June and featured in GQ Magazine last month asAmericas Most Imaginative Bartender.

The exchange with Edelman stood out to Duan. I have worked so hard to make my family proud and to elevate our business. It just broke my heart.

Edelman told Boston.com that investigating pricing discrepancies by neighborhood restaurants isnt something he does every day.

I mostly look for malfeasance by larger companies, he said. It certainly seems like a situation that could call for legal redress. But this is a small business in the town where I reside.

As for the troves of angry customers likely looking for recourse? Edelman pointed Boston.com toMassachusetts General Law, Section XV, Chapter 93A, Section 9. (Translation: If you didnt pass the Massachusetts bar, but still feel as though you must do SOMETHING, then just gather all the receipts youve saved, along with all screenshots you took and saved of the website menu in case that dinner order ever ended up in court, find a lawyer whose fees arent likely to exceed the few dollars youre seeking, and voila?)

As for Edelman, he alerted town officials in Brookline about the matter, but told Boston.com he doesnt expect them to take action. He plans to take a few days before deciding whether to pursue any further legal action against the restaurant.

Oh and the food? Edelman admitted: It was delicious.


The epitome of ""white priviledge"" if I"ve ever seen it...
Credits: source
There are 24 comments:
Male 1,627
well that was a whole waste of drating nothing.
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Male 478
Mr. Edelman posted an apology on his site. Mr. Duan has offered to repay the full amount of the bill just to get this over with. He then said he will make a donation to the local food bank and hopes Mr. Edelman will do the same with his refund.
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Female 3,392
@MeGrendel "No, it`s not, and please quit making up terms to make others victims."

Sorry dude, I thought the quotes would insert some sarcasm/irony into the title in that, its usually the liberal-democrats (cookie-cutters of THIS c*nt) that are doing all the "white privilege" finger pointing but at the same time, pushes his own privilege of being a Harvard lawyer down the little guys` throats JUST because he can.
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Male 1,421
Not white privilege, just a douche.
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Male 7,031

Just let him try that nonsense at City Wok.

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Male 671
Nice move by Duan: "Oh, you`ve contacted the authorities? Well, it`s out of my hands now, I`ll wait for them to contact me and I will respond as they direct". A beautiful call of the professor`s bluff.

Essentially what the lawyer`s done here is barratry: threatening legal action that he has no intention of following through on, in order to scare the other side into action.
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Male 1,412
@slut_etta

Regardless of the Lawyer`s quality of character, if this business does not have that little warning on their page, and they are miss-charging hundreds of customers regularly that is an ethical concern unrelated to the issue of one person being shorted a few dollars.

If this accident of pricing is ongoing or intentional that is actually a pretty serious crime and needs to be brought to the notice of the authorities.

I am empathetic to the situation in which the owners of that business find themselves, but we do not have enough information to know if they are being honest, or deliberately committing Fraud. Hopefully someone will be able to get follow up information on this case for us.
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Female 4,086
i live way out in the sticks and do most of my shopping online. a lot of websites carry the reminder that prices may vary slightly from those published. as long as its not so much as to endanger my bottom line that month, who really cares? i feel pretty privileged that i can order silver and gold (i make jewelry) for what that day`s market price is, and more privileged that its delivered to my door. so i`m not going to quibble over a few measly dollars.

its amazing to me that this guy who easily makes more than 10x my salary every year is being so unpleasant over a measly $4.

wasn`t it shakespeare who said `kill all the lawyers`?
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Male 7,762
krw888-[quote]Giving the law profession a bad name[/quote]
Actually, 99% of lawyers give the law profession a bad name.

[quote]The epitome of ``white priviledge``[/quote]
No, it`s not, and please quit making up terms to make others victims.
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Male 5,824
Another clear example of someone living down to the poorer expectations of others, and unfortunately, in the process, making others of their kind (like lawyers) look bad too.
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Female 1,260
Correction: should read "just another dickLESS lawyer"
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Female 1,260
Another vote for `another dick lawyer` thank you ssalty!!
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Male 115
They should check this guys crawlspace. Anyone whose capable of digging their heels in over such an insignificant slight has some bodies lightly buried. Most likely he lays with them until they smell so bad that he can no longer stand it. Then he buries them but leaves a 2 inch PVC pipe to serve as a tunnel from his parts to theirs. Seen it a hundred times.
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Male 1,059
How sad to see someone so depressed, so unhappy with his own life and the choices that he has made, lash out against others with such vitriol and hatred in his heart. Seems like he would be a perfect candidate for the U.S. Senate.
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Male 228
Just another dick lawyer.
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Female 3,392
Orlitog - Why describe the lawyer as "bratty"? because "whiny, bullying tw*t" wouldn`t fit ;)
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Female 3,392
Male 3,231
True, but he escalated it after compensation and menu change was offered. Although the point of wrong website for wrong restaurant location could be a point based on the structure of the company. It is possible that they have no legal responsibilities. Although they reside in the same state and perhaps issue orders from the same site which would indicate that they probably do have a legal responsibility.
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Male 1,412
Well, if they are overcharging any number of customers that can be actionable in a court of law under fraud, and it is in their best interest to update the webpage`s prices immediately.

Asking for more than your money back is a bit of a douche move though.
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Male 3,231
I think some lawyers consider it like jousting for pride and dont seem to understand the impact it has on honest people with legal fees etc. Unless they do, and then its almost more like a legal way to promote their own industry and padding their friends wallets, which is unethical at best.
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Male 174
Giving the law profession a bad name
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Male 1,151
That drating non-nice individual. look under your couch for the $4.
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Male 1,412
Why describe the lawyer as "Bratty"?
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Female 3,392
Link: Bratty Lawyer Vs. Mom and Pop Over 4 Dollars [Pic] [Rate Link] - The epitome of ``white priviledge`` if I`ve ever seen it...
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