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Lawyer Snaps At Teen Niece For Taking Selfies In Her Office Around Confidential Paperwork

A happy little girl is recording her blog, looking at the mobile phone camera and talking directly to her followers live.

When hosting guests in your home, everyone always has a small set of rules.

And if there aren’t that many rules, that means those small rules have significant meaning.

But like a cat, most humans are curious and love to test boundaries, especially teenagers.

That particular line crossing can lead to some serious drama.

Case in point…

Redditor Numerous-Cycle-1895 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for cursing at my niece when she went into my office when I specifically told her it was off limits to guests?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My (28 M[ale]) Sister (33 F[emale]) is visiting me this week with her daughter/my niece (13 F).”

“I was excited to host them in my house as I haven’t really seen my family much ever since I moved away from our home state for my career.”

“For context, I’m a lawyer at a large firm.”

“That means that I have to take work home often, which is why I have a room in my house set up as an office.”

“My office has privileged information about cases and clients.”

“Long story short, when my sister and niece arrived yesterday and after I helped them get settled in, I told them that there’s only one rule that I have for staying in my house: My office is off limits.”

“Fast forward a few hours and Everything’s fine and dandy, I’m just sitting on the couch with my sister, watching a movie, until I get a call from a senior associate at work asking me to do a quick review of a document that he sent me via email.”

“When I get upstairs, I see the door to my office is wide open, and the lights are on.”

‘When I go in to investigate, my niece is in there sitting in my chair and taking selfies with her feet on my desk.”

“I was beyond furious.”

“I only have one rule for guests at my house, and it’s to stay out of my office.”

“I have that rule for a reason.”

“Not only would I be at risk of disbarment, but the integrity of the entire case would be jeopardized if any of that information is leaked.”

“While I’m not accusing her of that specifically, I just don’t want uninvolved people in my office taking pictures and posting them on social media where there may or may not be protected Information in view of the camera.”

“I asked her what the hell she was doing, and she said, ‘I was just curious. I want to be a lawyer like you when I grow up.'”

I told her ‘Get the f**k out and stay out, you little *itch.'”

“My sister came running up the stairs after my niece started crying, and she told me that I was a ‘monster’ for ‘talking like that to a kid.'”

“I told her that she had no business being in my office, and my sister said that it doesn’t matter because ‘she’s just a kid.'”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared everyone WAS the A**hole here.

“She’s 13. She was intentionally violating the rule.”

“But still. What’s wrong with you? ESH.”

“A solo practitioner (appeals and post-conviction work in appointed criminal cases only) has this to say: I’d think a fancy pants big firm attorney who has a bunch of privileged crap in their home office just like I do would put a fu**ing locking knob on the door and/or keep all materials in locked cabinets when not in active use.”

“You are not adequately protecting these materials.”

“Sure, your front door locks.”

“But once someone is in the house, apparently, they could easily get into this stuff without you noticing in time.” ~ He_Who_Is_Person

“’You little *itch!’”

“It’s even more condescending and offensive!”

“OP, one of my siblings ever spoke to my child that way… it wouldn’t end well.”

“In the same respect, I’d not use that language towards any of their children.”

“And I assure you my youngest nephew is the king of little sh**s… But I would never in a million years say that or resort to name-calling. YTA.” ~ Electronic_Squash_30

“Yeah, I was actually on board with the guy reading the post, thinking this guy is probably going to be in the right.”

“Then he said what he called her, and I was like, nah, ESH, but I actually think he sucks more.”

“Like I seriously get why the office is off limits, everything he says about confidential information, etc is valid and the niece could have definitely approached things better if she really does want to be a lawyer.”

“Like told OP that and asked politely if he could show her the office.”

“But to call a 13-year-old a *itch is vile and way out of proportion.”

“He turned what should have been a moment to teach his niece about rules and privacy instead probably traumatized her.” ~ Ok_Tea5663

“This, yes, you have a right to be upset that she didn’t follow your rules.”

“But calling her a *itch is so beyond acceptable behavior for an adult, and a practicing Attorney.”

“You both owe each other. Apologies. And get a lock for your office door.”

“Or locking file cabinets.”

“Because no matter what, it should be secured, and that’s on you. ESH.” ~ Roadgoddess

“ESH. You surrendered the moral high ground when you resorted to character assassination.”

“The F-bomb was maybe cringe, but the nasty name-calling was way over the line.”

“You get bonus points for choosing a gender-targeting slur, adding the ‘little’ in front of it, and because she’s 13.”

“You both should know right from wrong, but you, AH, Esq., should know much better.”

“You should be censured for being reckless and arrogant enough to believe the respect you command is so great that you don’t need basic security controls.”

“Lock your ish up like you’re required to or don’t have people over.” ~ sleepdeficitzzz

“ESH. A 13-year-old is old enough to understand that a certain room is off-limits and not go in there.”

“But calling her a *itch was taking it way too far.”

“As a lawyer, you should have a much better grip on handling stressful situations without losing your cool.”

“Lastly, why was she taking pictures of her feet?” ~ 0biterdicta

“At first, I was furious on your behalf–you couldn’t have been more clear about your office being off limits–but then you lost control and called her a little *itch, which is so far beyond the boundaries of normal human interaction with children that I’m surprised you don’t already know you are an AH.”

“Anyway, ESH.” ~ LilyExplainsItAll

“ESH. You because as a lawyer, you have a duty to ensure that your client’s privileged information is kept confidential.”

“You should not be leaving anything out in plain sight in your office, either at home or at work.”

“Paper files belong in a locked file cabinet when not in use, and your computer should be turned off and password-protected so no one is able to access it.”

“Lock the door to be certain no one has access to your office.”

“Also, cursing at a 13-year-old like that was unnecessary.”

“Your niece because she was told not to go into your office, and she did anyway.”

“The selfies and feet on the desk just added insult to injury.”

“At 13, she’s old enough to know to follow the rules of your household.”

“Your sister because she doesn’t seem to be teaching her daughter to follow the rules that you set out, and not giving her daughter any consequences for entering your office without permission.” ~ MerryMoose923

OP came back with an update.

“Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting this post to get this many responses.”

“So I first wanted to start off by thanking each and every one of you for taking the time to read my post and weigh in with your judgment.”

“Even the people that sent me death threats in the DMs, you know who you are.”

“Special thanks to those who sent in their judgments via DM when the mods locked down the thread.”

“After reading the comments and having time to cool down and think about all this… I accept that I was an a**hole in this situation.”

“While I was right to be mad, I overacted and made this situation something that it wasn’t.”

“This is also a wake-up call for me to stop being lazy and do a better job of securing my documents.”

“I’ll admit that the inconvenience of locking everything down led me to become sloppy.”

“Not anymore.”

“I’ve already ordered a lock for my office door and a fireproof safe for my paper files.”

“My desk has lockable drawers, and my computer is password-protected. I’m also seriously considering a security camera.”

“Last night, I probably spent 20 minutes apologizing to both my niece and sister.”

“I promised that I would never yell at her or use that type of language towards her ever again.”

“She accepted my apology, we gave each other a hug, and she also apologized for being in the office.”

“My sister forgave me as well.”

“I also took them out to their favorite restaurant.”

“My niece and I had a conversation over dinner about the importance of attorney-client privilege and the secure handling of confidential information.”

“2 things that are extremely important if she’s serious about becoming a lawyer.”

“She seemed genuinely curious, and I answered all her questions that I could about the type of cases that I handled.”

“When we got home, I decided to surprise her.”

“I showed her around the office, and I let her take another picture at my desk (after I put away all my sensitive files, of course).”

“Thanks, Reddit.”

Well, OP, Reddit to the rescue for you!

Glad to hear that you were able to work through this issue peacefully.

Everyone has moments when they overreact.

It sounds like you and your niece learned some good lessons from this experience.