The cutting-edge information and security practice of Hunton & Williams is getting the firm lots of media attention these days — but not of the positive variety. The firm’s lawyers are getting coverage due to their information becoming insecure after a hacktivist group leaked emails they exchanged with security firm HBGary.
Last night, the firm’s logo was flashed several times on the Colbert Report, as Stephen Colbert named the firm as the link between the DOJ, HBGary, and Bank of America, in coming up with questionable tactics for undermining liberal activists. (See our prior post, Hunton & Williams Gets WikiLeaked.)
What is most significant here is that you have these plans that are clearly crossing a legal line, with very serious players involved. Law firms like Hunton & Williams are the most powerful in D.C. And no one at any point said, “Maybe this goes a little too far, maybe we shouldn’t be doing this.” So willing to cavalierly to put a plan like this that clearly proposes illegal steps down on paper. It clearly shows that this sort of stuff in this world of corporate and government consortium of power is pretty normal, is par for the course.
Moral of the show: BigLaw + BigGov = Evil. Check out Colbert’s telling of the “techno thriller” tale (after the jump). Think Star Wars, with Bank of America as Darth Vader, HBGary and Hunton & Williams as commanders of the Imperial Forces, WikiLeaks as Princess Leia, and Anonymous as Han Solo….
If somebody is mildly angry, they might just give the middle finger. If they’re very angry, they might give it with some sort of words or facial expression that shows anger. And if they’re off-the-charts angry, they may give a double.
Last night’s Colbert Report was a bonanza for law nerds. The featured guest was Jeffrey Toobin, who spoke about his new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Toobin and Colbert had a relaxed and easy rapport, and their conversation was highly entertaining — perhaps the best CR appearance since Neal Katyal. You can check out Stephen Colbert’s interview of Jeff Toobin by clicking here.
Before turning to the SCOTUS, they discussed the most recent legal troubles of O.J. Simpson. As you may recall, Toobin was one of the lead correspondents on the original O.J. trial, as well as the author of a bestselling book about it, The Run of His Life. Toobin summarized the defense strategy in the armed robbery case against Simpson as follows: “If it’s his s***, you must acquit.”
But that’s not all! There was a special shout-out to Bingham McCutchen, during the ThreatDown.
More details, plus a video clip, after the jump.
* Bill Childs disses AEI’s parties. He just doesn’t appreciate a good formal gala. [TortsProf Blog]
* FAA regulations: comply with weirded-out flight attendant at all times, no matter how irrational she is. [Prettier Than Napoleon]
* Apple claims right to word “podcast”; next: all soundwaves between 4500 and 6000 MHz. [Overlawyered]
* Blogs can be used against you in court. Duh. [Boston Globe via Elefant]
* Soon to be issued to all incoming associates. [The Billable Hour]
* The first judicial citation to CuteOverload.com. [Volokh]
* Two new books attack string theory; class action lawsuit against Stephen Hawking’s “Brief History of Time” inevitable. [New Yorker]
* “I keep forgetting how women are disadvantaged by having to write a research agenda, but I am sure they have to be. Somehow. Always disadvantaged.” [Kate Litvak comment on PrawfsBlawg]
* Dom Deluise is not only still alive, but can legally sue his litigious ex-daughter-in-law’s lawyer. [Overlawyered]
* Weird Al Yankovic also alive, has aspirations of Jeremy Blachman-dom. [Overlawyered]
* Some might call it clever marketing of E. coli lawsuits, but I say it’s spinach and I say to hell with it. [Wall Street Journal]
* It’s not too late to download my law review article, and move me higher on the dowload rankings. [SSRN]
* Protest demands recognition of zombie legal rights: “What do we want?” “BRAINS!” “When do we want it?” “BRAINS!” [Boing Boing]
* Upcoming deadline #1: The statute of limitations for suing Merck over Vioxx expires for many many putative plaintiffs today. Court clerks will be busy as attorneys forum shop. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Upcoming deadline #2: The Days of Awe end Sunday, and Yom Kippur starts Sunday night. Stephen Colbert offers a toll-free number, 1-888-OOPS-JEW, if you wish to atone to him. The recorded disclaimer alone (and Colbert’s addendum afterwards) makes it worth it, but you get what you pay for. [News From Me]
* It has nothing to do with the law, but how can we avoid mentioning this important press release on Kazakh-Uzbek relations? [Borat.tv]
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.