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Tangled case of Wal-Mart vs. former execs, all hinges on e-mails

You and I have no idea who's to blame, who's blameless. Or who'll win and who'll lose. We do know retailer Wal-Mart, known for a few brick and mortar stores around the planet, is suing a former exec. That's Julie Roehm, who had earlier sued Wal-Mart when they fired her.

Roehm was a marketing exec for Wal-Mart, which claims she was using her position to try to score a job with an ad agency. That's where fellow exec Sean Womack comes in, says Wal-Mart, because he also wanted a job at the agency. The agency was pitching Wal-Mart at that time for business.

But the plot thickens as Wal-Mart says it has e-mails showing Roehm and Womack had a relationship that violated company policies. Not only did Wal-Mart monitor its employees' emails--it can do that without needing any National Security Letter or whatever--it even got personal e-mails from Womack's wife. This is complex gossip worthy of any soap opera.

AdAge sorts out the threads of the fired Wal-Mart execs and their e-mails. Will otherwise smart people ever learn not to put damaging information into e-mails?