In a post from last week, we solicited your tips about two major players in the Charney v. S&C saga:
(1) litigation partner Gandolfo “Vince” DiBlasi, who allegedly intimidated Aaron Charney at a settlement meeting; and
(2) M&A partner Stephen Kotran, cited by Aaron Charney as an ally of his at the firm.
The post generated lots of comments, plus a few reader emails. We collect the highlights after the jump.
Concerning Gandolfo DiBlasi, three themes emerge:
(1) he’s a tough and skillful litigator;
(2) despite being a bad-ass adversary, he’s actually quite charming on a personal level; and
(3) what a head of hair!
(DiBlasi reminds us of another brilliant and colorful Italian-American: Justice Antonin Scalia. He’ll rip you a new one if you’re opposing him; but if you’re on his good side, he can be extremely likable.)
Excerpts from some emails we received about Vince DiBlasi:
“I hear DiBlasi is a holy terror. Never worked with him, but knew those who did. And then avoided him like the plague. I think they’re just spineless. I hear the guy’s a hell of a litigator.”
“I know Vince and like him. He’s a great litigator and very hard-nosed, but he’s also personable and funny. He’s well-liked at the firm. Two other tidbits: It’s neither a toupee nor a comb-over — the man will not outlive his exceptionally robust hair. And he’s a member of ‘the Committee’ at S&C — the handful of lawyers who run the firm — so talk of the firm ‘suspending’ him [for his alleged "we represented the Nazis" comment] is ridiculous. He’s now the senior-most litigation partner on the Committee.”
“I recently met Vince DiBlasi in court. He’s short, and his hair was awfully greasy. Very friendly, though.”
We received fewer tips about Stephen Kotran, the baby-faced M&A wunderkind:
“[D]on’t be fooled [by his gentle and friendly exterior]. Kotran is as tough and as smart as they come.”
“Steve Kotran clerked for Ed Becker, who was one of the most stand-up guys in the federal judiciary.”
“Kotran grew up in a steel mining town in PA. He is not gay, Jewish or a nazi, but he is a good guy, or at least he used to be when I hung out with him. He is kick-ass smart, but he’s street smart too. He played baseball at H, and house football; he was scouted by a professional baseball team as a pitcher… He might not have been good enough for MLB, but I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of any punch he throws.”
It appears that, despite the distraction of Charneygate, Kotran is keeping himself busy. From an S&C blast email we received this morning:
Please note that Sullivan & Cromwell LLP represents Goldman, Sachs & Co. in its capacity as financial advisor to Lone Star Technologies Inc. in its US$ 2.1 billion sale to United States Steel Corp., announced March 29, 2007. New York M&A partner Stephen Kotran is advising Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Despite having its documents splashed all over the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Goldman Sachs has no hard feelings towards Sullivan & Cromwell — which may explain how S&C can afford to be so indifferent towards the public relations fallout from the Charney case. As long as the GS checks keep coming, who cares about Aaron Charney?
Stephen M. Kotran bio [Sullivan & Cromwell]
Gandolfo V. DiBlasi bio [Sullivan & Cromwell]
Earlier: Brokeback Lawfirm: Good Cop, Bad Cop