Yesterday, we covered Andrew Cuomo’s letter to Bank of America. In it, the New York Attorney General ask BofA to essentially waive its attorney client privilege and allow the AG’s office to question BofA outside counsel at Cleary Gottlieb.
Update: The NYAG is looking to talk to the lawyers who consulted on the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch merger. Cuomo wants to talk to attorneys at Wachtell and Shearman & Sterling. He is not asking to talk to Cleary lawyers about their work for the bank.
Today, Cleary commercial litigation partner Lewis Liman, fired back at New York’s chief lawyer. The Charlotte Observer has the details:
“First, the basic premise of the letter is simply wrong,” Bank of America’s attorney, Lewis Liman, wrote in the bank’s response. “Bank of America has not put at issue the subject matter of any advice of counsel. Nor has Bank of America offered reliance on legal advice as a justification for its disclosures. Bank of America’s position has been clear and consistent throughout: the proxy statement and related disclosures complied with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Because Bank of America did not violate the law, it has not offered reliance on legal advice as a defense.”
Lewis Liman? That sounds more like something Josh Lyman would write.
Apparently, the NYAG isn’t the only one that knows how to litigate in through the press. More from Liman and Bank of America, after the jump.
The blistering response from Cleary did not end with questioning Andrew Cuomo’s comprehension skills. It went on to suggest that Cuomo doesn’t understand that a telephone can be used to receive calls, not just place outgoing calls to the New York Times:
Bank of America also lashed out at Cuomo’s office for refusing to meet with Bank of America’s lawyers to discuss the investigation.
“We should note that we have repeatedly asked to meet with your Office to explain the relevant facts with respect to each of the matters the letter states are under investigation,” Liman wrote. “Each of those requests has been rejected. We do not understand your Office’s apparent refusal to meet with Bank of America’s counsel and to hear Bank of America and Merrill Lynch’s side of the story, including why there is no basis for seeking to invade the attorney-client privilege here.”
In high school, this is about the time where people like me start running up and down the halls yelling “Fight! Fight! It’s on, it is so on!”
Or, as our friends at Dealbreaker explain it:
If “The worst thing that will ever happen to him is when he and I meet in the room and I close the door” can’t get the Hulk fired up, let’s hope “the basic premise of the letter is simply wrong” and “the letter contains a number of spurious and false allegations” can.
The ball is in your court, Mr. Cuomo. Looks like Mr. Liman “doesn’t know it’s a damn show. He thinks its a damn fight.”
BofA fires back in feud with N.Y. attorney general [Charlotte Observer]
Is This Enough For You Andrew Cuomo? [Dealbreaker]
Earlier: Cleary Lawyers, The NYAG Would Like to Meet You