August 27, 2022

Introduction and summary

       Welcome and thank you for visiting. I am an attorney who used to work at O'Melveny & Myers. I was so surprised by what I saw there that I took on the role of amateur journalist and started this website. It's one of those acts that takes little time, but might do some good by shining a light. Below is a summary, which I hope you find informative.

       1. According to the New York Times, an O'Melveny attorney used violent imagery to threaten a sexual abuse victim into silence, as her assailant watched. This led to an additional decade of sexual abuse by the assailant, and the attorney became a go-to hire for rich men accused of sexual assault (links one and two.) The above may have influenced the attorney's own son, who was arrested for violating a domestic violence restraining order. Later, Mother Jones revealed that this same attorney chose not to stop a client's racist comments about a judge. This person is
chair of O'Melveny's Trial Practice Committee and vice chair of the firm.

       2. The firm has a history of conducting reportedly sham "independent investigations," in exchange for money. For example, see this story in Corporate Counsel accusing O'Melveny partner Adam Karr of conducting a sham investigation of sexual abuse at Lions Gate. A saint of a woman returned over a million dollars to break her confidentiality agreement and reveal that information. Or see these stories about a woman who learned that her alleged sexual assaulter's personal lawyer (O'Melveny) had been hired to "independently investigate" whether he assaulted her (links one and two.) Or see this story about an O'Melveny alumnus who was arrested by the FBI, as he negotiated his fee for an independent investigation.

       3. One of O'Melveny's practice group leaders reportedly lied to a federal court. Once caught in that lie by the discovery of documents, he gave a radio interview criticizing the Geneva Convention.

       4. The firm has a money-obsessed culture, which they called "eat what you kill." For example, query whether they needlessly dragged out an alleged rape victim's misery to maximize partner profits, and then bragged about the money they made off of her in a press release. Or query whether they were the only defense firm to drag out an opioid crisis case, damaging their client's reputation and likely resulting in thousands of avoidable deaths, to maximize partner profits (links one, two, three and four). For a numerical example of how one O'Melveny group allocated profits among its partners, see this post.

       5. Naturally, O'Melveny's partners are exceedingly cheap. For example, they upset law students by cutting summer associate pay by about $10,000, and replacing it with a $10,000 loan from the partners. That financial maneuver boosted partner profits by about 0.24%. So a partner who would have made $2,000,000 in that year now made about $4,800 more, as a result of reducing summer associate pay by $10,000. 

       6. Further on the topic of money, an O'Melveny attorney once shared their plan to "monetize" a government position. Consistent with this view, O'Melveny has repeatedly tried to change case law to make it harder to prosecute public officials who engage in quid pro quo corruption (cases one, two and three.) For an example of an O'Melveny attorney who used a government position for his own personal purposes, see these two posts (links one and two). It doesn't always work out though; one of O'Melveny's friends got arrested by the FBI for trying to do this.

       7. O'Melveny contrives claims to intimidate people. For example, after I published this website, they accused me of the federal crime of stealing confidential information – without any digital evidence that I even accessed the data they accused me of taking. When I reminded them that they won't have much of a case without evidence, they threatened me with a defamation lawsuit. But when I asked them to identify a specific defamatory statement so that I could retract it, they refused to do so.

       8. O'Melveny was at the forefront of the document used to silence victims -- the mandatory arbitration and nondisclosure agreement. Although three federal courts told O'Melveny that its document was "unconscionable" (cases one, two and three) -- O’Melveny continued to force its employees to sign it until 2018, when law students pressured law firms to abandon this practice.

       9. The firm retaliates against employees who complain about problematic practices. They even reportedly launched a "witch hunt" to find an employee who complained anonymously.

       10. The inspector general chided an O'Melveny alumnus for threatening scientists in a way that had "life and death consequences."

       11. Per ABC News's Sacramento affiliate, O'Melveny's lacking advice embarrassed the governor's office and cost California wildfire victims billions of dollars.

       12. A judge devoted a paragraph of his opinion to criticizing O'Melveny's lack of professionalism. 

       13. O'Melveny claims to support diversity by following the Mansfield Rule, but their track record suggests otherwise. O'Melveny also hired two partners who were sued for discrimination, by a Latina single mother, at their prior firm.

       14. The firm consistently grades itself at the top-end, usually the top three, in Vault's self-graded rankings. This led to complaints from law students who felt misled by what they thought was an undeservedly high score. Eventually, another firm decided to copy O'Melveny's gamesmanship, and started giving itself the highest scores too. That firm rose from a low position in the rankings to the number one spot in all of them, in only one year.

       15. O'Melveny tries to manipulate journalists into advertising for the firm. Here is their manager of public relations explaining how to do this on the show, "Law firm marketing catalyst." Some of the resulting articles are provably false.

       16. The firm was even lambasted in the press for trying to remove truthful information from Wikipedia, of all things.

       If you think this website is unusual, please note that I'm not the first person to do this. The late Judge Stephen Reinhardt expressed his public disgust with things he saw at O'Melveny back in the 1980s. A legal recruiter, whose livelihood depends on ingratiating himself to law firms, publicly shared a shocking story from O'Melveny. An O'Melveny attorney used twitter to talk about everything they lost while working there. And there's more that I haven't said, because I do not have hard evidence and don't want to be caught in a "he said, she said" defamation case (see #7 above), or because the person who shared the information asked me not to post it here. I'm largely restricted to writing about things that made it into the news, which may be the tip of the iceberg.

       I hope this information helps you. Please contact me at if you have something to add (and please feel free to use anonymous encrypted email providers, like proton mail.) I can also call you if you would prefer to talk via phone
. Please do not send tips. This blog is retired.
Brad Butwin, Dan Petrocelli, Brian Boyle, Adam Karr, omm, omelveny, Brandon Jacobsen

Retiring this blog

       I'm going to go ahead and do something I've been wanting to do for a while, retire this blog. So this will be the last entry.

Judge criticizes O'Melveny's lack of professionalism

Excerpt below.
Before getting to the jurisdictional question, an observation about Bitmain's briefs is required. Overall, the briefs filed by Bitmain's counsel, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, fell below the standards of professionalism and quality expected of every litigant and counsel in this District. The many instances of this will be called out in the ensuing discussion, but the Court notes at the start that it has serious concerns about O'Melveny & Myers’ repeated citations to overruled cases, and legal tests that were expressly disapproved well before it filed its brief. These practices are not consonant with O'Melveny & Myers’ duty of candor, and they unduly burdened the Court and opposing counsel with frivolous arguments. Bitmain and its attorneys are advised that future conduct along these lines will be sanctioned, including but not limited to monetary sanctions, defense or evidence preclusion, and professional conduct sanctions. There is no room in our busy and resource-constrained federal courts for parties and lawyers who do not play by the rules and fight fairly on the merits.
Gevorkyan v. Bitmain Techs. Ltd., No. 18-CV-07004-JD, 2022 WL 3702093, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 26, 2022)

July 14, 2022

The world of banking lawyers, and our current high inflation

       Last year I wrote about the career of Bimal Patel. I have been meaning to add to that post, because there are a number of other banking lawyers with interesting careers, including one who is having a huge impact on the day to day lives of Americans.

June 16, 2022

Greg Jacob and his friend Michael Luttig

       As I watch Greg Jacob on television, as I hear him quoting Bible passages, I can't help but to recall my interactions with him.

May 14, 2022

Life at O'Melveny

       A new case is a good example of how, at O'Melveny & Myers, you may work with a certain type of personality to achieve a certain type of end. 

April 17, 2022

Law can be an unpleasant profession (and my exchange with Amy Wax)

       Last week, Penn Law professor Amy Wax went on Tucker Carlson's show to argue that Indians come from a "shithole" country, which engenders feelings of jealousy within them, and causes them to criticize certain aspects of white culture. In the past, she made similar arguments about how Asians are culturally inferior. She has also said that the United States "will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites," again because nonwhite cultures are inferior. Ms. Wax's comments remind us that talented minorities may wish to think twice before possibly wasting their life in law.

April 9, 2022

If a minority sues for rape or discrimination, use one of their people to fight them

       It's been a fortunately quiet two months here. I saw the article about how O'Melveny hijacked the governor's office to help its former client, at the expense of the people the governor is supposed to serve. But I had already written about that last year, and had written about O'Melveny's "monetize government" ethos two years ago. Then a few weeks ago, the alleged rape victims who O'Melveny said it would help -- only to fight them -- revealed their identities in a press conference. But I had already written about their story too. So it's been two months without anything new to write about. Great job O'Melveny; keep it up. . . . Well, actually, the press conference does segue into a topic.

January 30, 2022

Dan Petrocelli's son was arrested

       I have never met Dan Petrocelli, but I heard stories. For example, an associate told me about the time a partner e-mailed Mr. Petrocelli the final version of a brief, after which Mr. Petrocelli cursed him out for emailing it instead of printing it and dropping it off in person -- humiliating the partner in front of coworkers.

January 15, 2022

Elon Musk tried to harm a government lawyer who did his job, instead of monetizing it

       In the past, I've written about O'Melveny's belief that a government job is something to be monetized for your own personal benefit (links one, two, three, four, five and six). It might have been the most noxious thing I saw at O'Melveny. This attitude among regulators reportedly created the opioid crisis, for example. Any way, one public servant apparently wasn't aware of what he should be doing with his job. So he put duty over his pecuniary interests. His reward for doing the right thing, is that Elon Musk is trying to harm his life.

December 11, 2021

Winners and losers in America's opioid era

       As background on the opioid era, please read this post. In summary, three decades ago, pharmaceutical companies recreated the business model that the British used in 19th century China. Except this time, it was American customers instead of Chinese ones. And they didn't use the imperial British navy to fight those standing in their way; they used lobbyists, regulators and lawyers.

November 29, 2021

O'Melveny's suspicious "independent investigation" prompts a coordinated response

       One aspect of the frivolous and entertaining world of sports is that owners will occasionally fire the team’s manager. George Steinbrenner was the archetype of such an owner, firing dozens of managers over his 30+ year tenure. He once changed managers three times in a season. But they were honest firings. As far as I know, the owners didn't try to swindle the manager out of severance payments they were entitled to under their contract. Well, according to reports, O’Melveny may have come up with a scheme to change that, prompting a reaction from National Basketball Association (“NBA”) general managers.

November 20, 2021

Bimal Patel got his money at PayPal

       Bloomberg reports that Bimal Patel just took the job of Chief Legal Officer at PayPal. This is relevant to this blog for a number of reasons.

November 3, 2021

New rape accusation shows why O'Melveny's "independent investigations" aren't trustworthy

       As I explained previously, one way that O'Melveny makes money is by conducting sham "independent investigations." The risible nature of such investigations is so well-known that it's now in popular television. Just last month in the hit series Succession, an executive was accused of sexually assaulting women who wanted entertainment jobs. (And these were valid accusations; the other executives knew that he did this.) As they strategized how best to get rid of the matter, the company's general counsel suggested hiring a firm like O'Melveny to do an independent investigation.

October 23, 2021

O'Melveny embarrasses their client with a reportedly "absurd" letter

       Last month, Apple terminated a senior engineer after she complained of harassment and other improprieties. I'm guessing O'Melveny played a role in that because a few days later, they sent Ms. Gjøvik the letter stating the basis for her termination. O'Melveny's letter was reportedly so "absurd" and "weak" that it caught the attention of reporters, and this matter turned into a front-page article (links one and two.) The tech website Gizmodo summarized the letter along with its faults

October 11, 2021

Why I can't expand this site beyond O'Melveny & Myers

      Sometimes a reader will ask if I can expand this site to cover other law firms. Well, you have to understand that although it's important to shine a light, and although I am grateful to journalists who are willing to gaze into the abyss . . . writing this blog can be an unpleasant experience. (Working on this has taught me that I would not have made a good journalist. I don't really like writing about troubling things.)

September 23, 2021

O'Melveny's generous perquisites

       Last week, O'Melveny announced that it would provide Peloton to all of its employees. They then scheduled interviews with reporters to discuss this news, resulting in articles by Law360, Reuters, The ABA Journal, Above the Law, and The American Lawyer. (Incidentally, here is a link to O'Melveny's public relations manager talking about how he manipulates journalists into advertising for the firm.)

September 11, 2021

After relying on O'Melveny, California's governor gets blamed for a needless two billion dollar loss

       In 2018, Pacific Gas & Electric's poorly-maintained equipment caused a wildfire that killed 84 people. That catastrophe led to extensive litigation, as well as attention from California Governor Gavin Newsom. Normally the governor relies on the state's internal attorneys for legal advice. But for some reason Gov. Newsom declined their help and decided to use O'Melveny & Myers. That didn't end well; last week, he had to run away from a reporter's questions. 

August 9, 2021

O'Melveny's friend Thomas Barrack got arrested for doing something ingrained in O'Melveny's culture

       Last year, I wrote about a video of O'Melveny's most eminent partner, in which he talked about his friend Thomas Barrack's attractive young wife. Poor Mr. Barrack has fallen on hard times recently. A few weeks ago, he was arrested for trying to use his government connections to alter U.S. foreign policy for an investment fund client. In googling about that story, I also learned that his wife Rachelle filed for divorce

July 28, 2021

McDermott, Will & Emery shows how easy it is to game Firsthand/Vault's "best firm to work for" award

       This year's Vault "Best Law Firm to Work For," "Best Law Firm for Diversity" and "Best Summer Associate Program" rankings came out, and McDermott Will & Emery took the top spot from O'Melveny in all three. Last year, McDermott was ranked #41 in the best firm to work for ranking, and unranked in the other two (meaning its score was so low that it didn't even place in the ranking.) 

June 3, 2021

Follow-up to the Brian Brooks and Bitcoin post

       Last month, I wrote about how former O'Melveny partner Brian Brooks had used his government position to boost the cryptocurrency industry. I then cautioned that despite Mr. Brooks's statements, crypto was burdened with five long-term risks: (a) governments do not want a competing currency, (b) crypto prices are too volatile for it to be a reliable store of value, (c) high transaction and energy costs, (d) one of crypto's key selling points -- privacy, crime and money laundering -- will be gone once governments decode its owners' identities, and (e) crypto isn't really an amazing innovation because it's just a ledger, something that's been around for ages. In the ensuing month, crypto prices coincidentally fell by about 40%, leading to a nationally televised interview of Mr. Brooks.

May 28, 2021

Brad Butwin's Jewish privilege

       Earlier this week, I saw an article about an Iranian woman, Tali Farhadian-Weinstein, who is running for the office of Manhattan District Attorney. In surfing her twitter, I noticed that she went out of her way to talk about how Jewish she was. Every other tweet was about being Jewish, or being connected to a Jewish group. I think I know what this is about. One way for Iranian-Americans to escape anti-Iranian prejudice, is to constantly advertise that they are Jewish Iranians, and not Muslim Iranians.

May 7, 2021

Brian Brooks used his position in government to boost Bitcoin, and I'm curious to see how this plays out

       As I wrote in an earlier post, ingrained in O'Melveny's culture was the idea that a job in government isn’t accepted to serve the voters, the public, or the country – it’s taken to serve yourself, and the people who pay you. It's something to be "monetized." O'Melveny even tried (unsuccessfully) to change case law to make it hard to prosecute public officials who engage in quid pro quo corruption. And of course it's not just O'Melveny. Last week, Senator Ted Cruz pledged to stop granting favors in exchange for corporate contributions. In response, former Director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub tweeted that Mr. Cruz said what "everyone knows: [they] sell access. Others have the sense not to admit it." 

March 9, 2021

O'Melveny tried to stifle anti-corruption laws

       If you're a government official, you control or influence valuable decisions. For example, a zoning change, a business permit -- decisions that people want to buy. The problem is that United States has all these laws to stop you from selling that power. What you need is a step-by-step manual that explains what to say, and how to say it, so you can sell your authority without violating those laws. 

February 26, 2021

Another example of reporters fixing wrongdoing in the legal system

       One theme I cover in this blog, is the idea that certain lawyers will do immoral things until someone shines a light. For example, see this post about lawyers who reportedly covered up sexual assault until #MeToo. Or this post discussing lawyers and a judge who reportedly covered up the opioid crisis until someone leaked documents to a reporter. Another such example is in the news (links one, two, and three.) It has to do with a new movie, I Care a Lot. 

January 7, 2021

What it means to "think like a lawyer," and the COVID-19 pandemic

       Law is a dishonest field. I know that's a harsh thing to say about a profession, so please let me explain by looking at what lawyers do on a case. First, they sift through the evidence and categorize it into two buckets: evidence that helps their client and evidence that hurts. Then they do the same thing with laws; they find the relevant statutes, precedents and policies and split them into two buckets: those that help their client and those that hurt. Finally, they use rhetorical techniques to try and hypnotize a judge or jury into appreciating the facts and laws that help their client, and diminishing those that hurt their client. 

January 3, 2021

A dark profession

       This week, Former Attorney General Eric Holder said he was “disturbed” that other lawyers would criticize his friend Neal Katyal for making what some think are "extreme" arguments in support of child slavery. Mr. Holder states that the justice system "cannot function at its best" if Mr. Katyal is criticized for defending his client in court, because if lawyers can't defend clients then there is no due process. That certainly makes perfect sense.

December 12, 2020

O'Melveny hopes its clients get sued

       One of the most interesting things I saw in my stint in the legal profession was how gleeful partners became when a client was sued or investigated. Normally, people are happy if something good happens to their client. But these partners were happy when something awful happened to a client. They couldn't contain their joy as they thought of staffing attorneys on the matter, billing, and growing their partner distributions. One partner joked about this at lunch, noting how much money another group had made after a deadly explosion at a client's plant. Yes, if there was a massive explosion at your plant that killed people, forcing you to call your lawyers at O'Melveny -- know that their eyes are probably welling up with tears of joy as they think of the millions they will make off of your tragedy. This is the business of O'Melveny.  

October 24, 2020

Favoring the children of prominent people

        A few weeks ago I took a trip to the beach. It was depressing near the Santa Monica Pier, which has turned into a homeless enclave. Here’s a man sleeping, here’s another man sleeping, and here’s one folding up his tent. The expressions on their faces were heartbreaking, a mix of bewilderment, anger and worry. It’s a testament to the city’s privileged leadership. I could just see Mayor Eric Garcetti talking to one of the homeless: 

Sorry dude, you were born to the wrong person. My dad's Gil Garcetti. He was politically connected, so I get to be mayor. Your parents were nobodies, so you’re a bum. You never heard of my dad Gil? How dare you. He rose to prominence by hogging the camera after his office botched the O.J. Simpson murder trial. So I live like a king, and you live like this.

Who am I kidding; Mr. Garcetti would never lower himself to talk to a homeless person. He reportedly wastes $30 million of city funds each year to harass the homeless, and he compared them to horseshit.

October 11, 2020

Old tale; new tactics, victims and weapons

       When I was in law school, a Chinese LL.M. student introduced me to the Opium Wars. Back in the 1700s and 1800s, the British empire made a fortune by selling opium to the Chinese. Seeing all the death and waste it caused, a succession of Chinese administrators tried to restrict the drug starting in 1729, with no luck. Eventually, in 1839, the Daoguang Emperor put his foot down, naively thinking he could finally rid his country of the drug. No, the British attacked and after a series of victories, they forced him to continue allowing the import of opium for decades. This chain of events had a devastating impact on China, one that will likely haunt its memories forever.

September 23, 2020

O’Melveny chose not to stop racist comments about a judge, and partners "dating" associates

       Back when President Trump was running for office, he had an awful case around his neck. Former students of Trump University had sued him and the school for fraud. So he asked O’Melveny & Myers to get rid of it. Mother Jones just released a video of a break in one of the case’s depositions (rejecting O'Melveny's demand that they destroy the video.) During the break, Mr. Trump told an O'Melveny lawyer, Mr. Daniel Petrocelli, that he was concerned about the judge’s "Spanish" background.  

July 31, 2020

"Top-ranked" restructuring partner gets recruited to O'Melveny; leaves two months later

       On June 1, O'Melveny announced their recruitment of Adam Rogoff, and legal periodicals also covered the move. (Links one, two and three.) O'Melveny's Chair Brad Butwin said he was "delighted" by Mr. Rogoff's arrival. When asked why he left his old firm, Mr. Rogoff praised O'Melveny and listed its advantages. . . . Two months later, Mr. Rogoff has returned to his prior firm of Kramer Levin. Nothing unethical about this on its face, but I include it because I've never heard of such a thing in professional services.

July 25, 2020

O'Melveny lawyer threatened scientists in a way that had "life-and-death consequences"

       Before I get into the details of the story, please let me provide some background on Michael Walsh, because I worked with him at O’Melveny. He was one of the people who wrote my final review there. My impression was that he was another of the firm’s over-promoted associates: associates who had used political connections to get promoted to partner, and who were now making millions of dollars per year even though they didn’t really have much work or clients of their own. Of course, O’Melveny’s other money-grubbing partners are not keen on paying someone who isn’t pulling their weight -- and so I wasn't surprised to see him leave for government in 2018 after only five years as partner. I assume he’s trying to use the O’Melveny strategy of “monetizing” government positions to build a large private sector income stream for himself. Anyway, onto the story.

June 27, 2020

O'Melveny's human resources

       One of O'Melveny's marketing efforts concerns their Director of Career Development, Jim Moore. They push articles about him and, in writing the May post, I saw O'Melveny list him as an advantage in recruiting materials. So I thought I'd write about an interaction I had with Jim.

June 4, 2020

O'Melveny's Chair Brad Butwin lied about coronavirus pay cuts

       O'Melveny's Chair Brad Butwin gave an interview to the American Lawyer. In the interview, Mr. Butwin said that O'Melveny did not cut pay during the covid-19 crisis. This is big. Attorneys and clients are keeping track of firms that announced pay cuts, because it sends a signal, e.g., about how the firm treats employees, and the firm's financial condition. Mr. Butwin is providing them with useful information when he tells this reporter that O'Melveny did not change compensation. 

June 2, 2020

The Mansfield Rule and the lucrative world of law firm diversity marketing

       Back in 2017, O'Melveny ran a publicity campaign proclaiming their adherence to the Rooney Rule a.k.a. the Mansfield Rule. That rule requires "at least 30 percent of the candidates considered for various law firm positions, including ... lateral positions, [to be] women and attorneys of color." 

       Out of curiosity, I just skimmed O'Melveny's press releases, and clicked on every release announcing the hiring of a new partner. According to these press releases, the last nine partners O'Melveny hired, Mr. Adam RogoffMr. Michael Hamilton (who was sued for discrimination at his prior firm), Mr. Tim Evans, Mr. Todd Boes, Mr. Christopher Owens, Mr. Terrence Dugan, Mr. Michael Dreeben, Mr. Jeffery Norton, and Mr. Jason Kaplan, are all white men. Not that there's anything wrong with hiring white males; I'm a white male. But I wonder if O'Melveny actually considered any women or minorities for these positions.

May 17, 2020

Law students complain that O'Melveny's Vault rankings are misleading

       One topic that keeps reappearing here is the Vault rankings, specifically the best firm to work for, best summer program, and best firm for diversity rankings. As explained previously, they are self-graded. Law firms give themselves a grade, and Vault uses these grades to rank the firms. For example, if a firm gives itself the highest possible score on diversity, Vault will rank it as the #1 firm in the world for diversity. I know that sounds incredible but that's how it works. Vault is using the honor system, expecting honesty and sincerity from lawyers. 

April 25, 2020

O'Melveny hires attorney accused of mistreatment at his prior firm

       Mr. Michael Hamilton and Mr. Tim Evans recently returned to O'Melveny from DLA Piper. Both of these men were named in a tragic lawsuit at their prior firm -- a lawsuit filed by a woman who spent much of her life struggling to raise her child as a single motherMr. Hamilton was named as an individual defendant and Mr. Evans's name appears in the body of the complaint. The only other attorney named as a defendant, Mr. Michael Meyer, also suddenly left DLA Piper this month.

April 14, 2020

Another case in which O’Melveny fights alleged Chinese torture victims

       Anecdotally, it seems like O'Melveny works on a certain type of case. Cases that might make you question your life choices. I first wrote about this here, and gave a few examples involving a rape case (posts one and two) and an opioid case (posts one, two and three). 

March 29, 2020

Monetizing government positions

       A reader asked me how I came to join O’Melveny. So I thought I'd do a post on that, as it also offers a segue to another topic I have been meaning to write about. I came to O'Melveny through a relationship with a former professor, Ted McAniff. When he offered me the chance to work with him, I jumped at it. Imagine everything you would learn and the opportunities you would get at such a prestigious organization. I was excited.

January 19, 2020

Attorney joins O'Melveny, loses her health and her child, and O'Melveny's benefit provider is fighting her disability claim

       I remember this young woman. I spoke with her for about thirty minutes at a firm event around 2016. She was bright, upbeat, funny, and had recently graduated from the University of Chicago School of Law. She had a wonderful future in front of her. Fast forward three years and she has suffered the tragic loss of her health and child, and she risks becoming homeless due to O'Melveny's benefit provider refusing to pay her disability claim. I saw this at O'Melveny too often. People with bright futures and options would arrive, and they would leave worse off. I can't talk about them, as they did not go public like this young woman, but they're one reason I created this blog. 

October 19, 2019

The feast or famine life of an O’Melveny partner

       When interacting with O’Melveny's partners, you might have noticed that they sell their services aggressively. Perhaps you've read news reports accusing them of doing unprincipled things for their clients. They appear to be hungry. I was recently informed of a public resource that might explain this behavior. It provides a decade of financials for a particular O’Melveny group.

September 17, 2019

Allen & Overy walks away from O'Melveny merger

       Allen & Overy and O’Melveny called off their planned merger. The deal reportedly collapsed because O'Melveny's partners wanted more money, and Allen & Overy decided to walk away. 

September 1, 2019

O'Melveny's revenue-obsessed lawyers might not give the best advice

       The judge ruled against Johnson & Johnson and O'Melveny in the Oklahoma opioid trial. The decision received quite a bit of press, and it might have permanently tarnished Johnson & Johnson's reputation. Yet in all of the analysis, no one discussed the law firm economics aspect of the ruling -- i.e., that O'Melveny might view it as a flow of funds down a revenue "pipeline." 

August 11, 2019

Subjective, false and misleading

       Last week, legal reporters covered an O'Melveny employee's attempt to remove information from Wikipedia. 

July 24, 2019

Did O'Melveny ruin Vault's honor system?

       The career advice website Vault released its "best firm to work for" and "best firm for diversity" rankings. These are released each year and, as I explained in a prior post, they rely on the honor system. A firm's score is based on the opinions of the firm's own lawyers, and only the firm's lawyers. The idea is that if asked about their firm's diversity or quality of life -- lawyers would be conscientious, thoughtful and ethical enough to answer honestly.

July 3, 2019

O'Melveny's opioid "pipeline"

       The first in a series of opioid trials is being televised. (And for good reason. An article suggests that hundreds of thousands of people might have died because judges sealed evidence of pharmaceutical companies' wrongdoing.) The plaintiff in this trial is the State of Oklahoma, and they seek funds to mitigate and abate the crisis. The situation is dire, as one study estimates that opioids could kill half a million Americans in the next decade. 

May 4, 2019

Giving up revenue to help opioid victims

       In addition to dubious sexual abuse investigations, another of O'Melveny's revenue generators is a massive multi-state opiate addiction case. Another firm defending such cases recently started a public campaign to settle the matter, to "get the monies to the communities that need them, to the people that are addicted ... rather than to pay attorneys’ fees for years and years and years to come.

March 25, 2019

An O'Melveny alumnus gets arrested while negotiating an "independent investigation" retainer

       Under the "independent investigation" business model, alleged wrongdoers pay O'Melveny's white collar practice millions of dollars to investigate and judge their acts. For example, when USC was accused of mishandling sexual abuse, they hired O'Melveny to investigate and decide who was at fault. When a Lions Gate executive was accused of sexual misconduct, they hired O'Melveny to perform a "thorough and independent" investigation and decide whether there was any wrongdoing.

February 28, 2019

O'Melveny shows off money they made off of an alleged rape victim's misery

       Two years ago, I started this blog, partly to inform and protect others, and partly to cleanse my soul. And it worked. But it's grown much larger than I expected. It was only meant to be one post, but things keep popping up in the news.

December 30, 2018

Does an O'Melveny lawyer's profit motive interfere? (Please let me tell you about "margin")

       A month ago, a tweet made its way around the internet. In it, a young woman described a chilling ordeal she went through after allegedly being raped. It’s the sort of thing that causes you to step back and question what sort of society we live in.

October 2, 2018

Please feel free to contact me if you need help

       Two weeks ago, someone wrote me anonymously to complain of sexual offenses by a partner at a law firm. I wanted to help this person, but I couldn't put the partner or firm on this website, due to a lack of personal knowledge or corroborating evidence. Doing so could be unfair to the accused party and libelous (I need to be careful because some firms are vicious when trying to cover up mistreatment, as you can see from O'Melveny's two threatening letters.) Faced with this catch-22, I came up with an effective solution that was very well-received by the person who wrote me.

August 24, 2018

August 1, 2018

O'Melveny & Myers and Allen & Overy -- two firms that reportedly enabled Harvey Weinstein's sexual assaults -- are about to merge

       A troubling aspect of Mr. Weinstein's sexual assaults is that they could have been prevented if, back in 2004, O'Melveny did not reportedly humiliate and threaten one of his victims into silence. In some ways, Mr. Weinstein was also the victim of such terrible lawyering. Instead of setting him straight, they enabled and emboldened his worst behavior.

July 26, 2018

How O'Melveny reportedly whitewashed sexual harassment at Lions Gate

       This week, the Wall Street Journal and other sites wrote about alleged sexual assaults by Lions Gate general counsel Wayne Levin. It's a case study of how companies pay O'Melveny to whitewash sexual harassment. 

       When the victim complained, Lions Gate hired O'Melveny's Adam Karr to "thoroughly and independently" investigate the allegations. The whitewashing started with Mr. Karr conducting a reportedly sham investigation that "couldn't corroborate [the victim's] allegations." Having exonerated the company, they proceeded to the next step in the whitewashing, paying the victim to keep quiet.

June 30, 2018

Which law firms lie on their Vault self-reports? Here is a way to find out

       The career advice website Vault published another set of "best firms to work for" and "best firms for diversity" rankings. In total, there are twenty-four rankings, e.g. there is a ranking for hours, for training, for compensation, for culture, and so on. For each ranking, Vault asks lawyers to grade their own firm. It then uses these grades to rank the firms. For example, if Firm A receives an average grade of 10.0 from its attorneys, and Firm B receives an average grade of 8.5 from its attorneys, Firm A will be ranked higher than Firm B. Thus a firm can attain a high ranking by pressuring its attorneys to lie, and give it undeservedly high scores.

June 7, 2018

Another threatening letter from O'Melveny

       After hearing about the USC matter, I corresponded and spoke with a reporter to do what little I could to warn USC sexual abuse victims about O'Melveny's purported impartial investigations. This led to another threatening letter from O'Melveny.

June 1, 2018

More whitewashing

       After being sued by a flood of victims over sexual abuse that it allegedly concealed for decades, and after a police investigation -- the University of Southern California is starting damage control by using its long-time attorney O'Melveny to conduct an "independent investigation." Given O'Melveny's past in sexual abuse matters, I believe they will act as USC's advocate and do whatever they can do minimize USC's liability.

March 31, 2018

The late Judge Reinhardt's time at O'Melveny

       After reading an article on the passing of Judge Stephen Reinhardt, I googled around a bit to learn more about this fascinating person. Apparently he used to work at O'Melveny, and these were his experiences:

February 11, 2018

O'Melveny's sexual harassment investigations

       I just read that Wynn Resorts hired O'Melveny to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by Steve Wynn. Guess has also hired O'Melveny to perform "an extensive and impartial investigation" into alleged sexual harassment by Paul Marciano (and Guess legal head Anne Deedwania used to work at O'Melveny). Assisting with the Guess investigation is Glaser Weil, the firm men hire when accused of sexual harassment in the #MeToo era.

October 30, 2017

O'Melveny reportedly threatened one of Harvey Weinstein's victims

       Someone sent me this New York Times link about O'Melveny's Dan Petrocelli. I do not know if it's true, but I wouldn't be surprised. Based on my observations -- the firm does not value laws that protect victims, and instead sees them as something to be gamed via maneuvering, intimidation, legal technicalities and/or forced confidentiality.

August 31, 2017

You had to pretend a lot

       This will probably be the last entry, as I've moved on. But I did want to share these remaining thoughts, in case someone went to the trouble of finding this blog to learn of another's experiences.

July 1, 2017

Vault tells minorities to join shrinking and demographically stagnant firms

       The website Vault ranked O'Melveny & Myers as the third best law firm for diversity

       Below is a chart from Vault's own database showing the percentage of white male equity partners at O'Melveny over the last decade, along with the same information for the industry as a whole. While the rest of the industry decreased this number from 80% to 75% -- O'Melveny was stuck at 80%. (Which is especially bad when you realize its starting class was always about one-third white male. Imagine the number of prejudiced decisions required to consistently turn a 33% white male population into an 80% white male population.) This performance gets you third place at Vault.

June 3, 2017

Don't complain about torture or discrimination to Bank of America's General Counsel David Leitch

       I received a few emails and phone calls in response to the prior post. Some shared similar experiences at O'Melveny -- situations where someone naively believed the marketing and stood up to unfair acts, only to be fired. One told me about how this happened to a friend, and how it was unforgettable because it left his once spry friend a "broken man" (I wasn't surprised as I saw a similar thing myself.) Others offered general sympathy and support.

April 21, 2017

O'Melveny's threatening letter

       Their General Counsel Martin Checov sent me a letter on April 18. The letter does not comment on torture, their deficient human resources department, or their retaliation against employees who complain. And it does not contain an apology.