Dewey & LeBoeuf, Mark Cuban, Securities and Exchange Commission, Securities Law

Mark Cuban Wants to Pay Government Attorneys to Get Off Their Butts

I’d love for Mark Cuban to own my basketball team. He’s a self-made billionaire who focuses on the fans and (for all the bluster) leaves the basketball decisions to basketball people. Compare that to current Knicks Owner James Dolan — a man living off of his daddy’s success, who thinks he’s smarter than he really is, who has run the once-proud Knicks franchise into the ground, and who may be in romantic love with Isiah Thomas. You’d take Cuban any day of the week over little Jimmy.

You’d probably take Cuban as a client as well. Stephen Best, the Dewey & LeBoeuf attorney currently representing Cuban in his SEC insider trading case, seems to be happy with his client. And we haven’t even seen his legal fees.

But if you are one of Cuban’s adversaries, it must be brutal. To paraphrase Rory Breaker, if the milk’s sour, Mark Cuban ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it. NBA referees know that. And SEC attorneys are about to learn the same lesson…

Frustrated by the snail’s pace of the SEC investigation into insider trading allegations, Cuban offered to pay government attorneys to work faster. The WSJ Law Blog reports:

Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has offered to pay lawyers to help the SEC move forward its case against him…

An attorney for Cuban, Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Stephen Best, told U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton in Washington last week that he was seeking a creative solution to moving the case along.

My friends, that is what we used to call “balls.” You wanna investigate me? Well bring it on and speed it up, you federal mutherf***ers. Cuban should have been in that Machete movie.

The SEC appeared caught off guard by the suggestion, releasing a tepid response emphasizing egalitarian concerns:

Melinda Hardy, an SEC attorney, said in court that Cuban’s offer was unprecedented. She said the agency is concerned people with “deep pockets would come in and go to the front of the line.”

So everybody, rich or poor, gets the same crappy service from the SEC. Amazing that this sentiment hasn’t found its way into a “Come Work for the SEC” brochure.

And speaking of work, can you even call what the SEC does “work,” at least in the Biglaw sense of the word?

The Cuban file is reportedly big. Very big. So voluminous, according to Bloomberg, that an attorney assigned to review it would have to spend more than eight months, assuming a pace of four pages a minute and eight-hour days without breaks, the SEC lawyers said.

Eight hours a day? Eight hours a day? Does that include the time SEC lawyers spend surfing the web for porn?

I spend more than eight hours a day on this blog. Do you mean to tell me that the SEC lawyers don’t even have their own SeamlessWeb accounts? No wonder Cuban is trying to throw money at the problem; clearly “professional commitment” hasn’t been enough to motivate these people. What kind of weak-ass, lifestyle operation is the SEC running over there? I can’t get over it: you’ve got the high profile, Mark Cuban insider trading case sitting on your desk, and you’re working eight hours a day? Boy did I choose the wrong career path. SEC attorneys should be paying Mark Cuban for the right to work eight hours and get home in time to have dinner with their kids, while Cuban’s pressing legal matter is left to twist in the wind.

I guess it would be a bad precedent to allow Cuban to somehow roll in there and pay government workers to perform like they’d have to in the private sector. But his point is well-taken. SEC attorneys: you’re making the government look bad (and let’s not even talk about how you missed Madoff). Throw some extra staff into the effort, find some ambitious types who are willing to come in on a Saturday, and get this baby done.

Christ monkeys. When Biglaw types make jokes about their government friends, this is why. Man alive, there are Biglaw paralegals who regularly work more than eight hours a day.

Mark Cuban’s New and Entirely Novel Defense Approach [WSJ Law Blog]

Earlier: Securities Law Not Sexy Enough, So SEC Attorneys Turn To Porn

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