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.

       As with their threatening letter of last April -- I reminded them that truth is an absolute defense, and asked them to identify specific false statements instead of making blanket accusations [Addendum: I also followed up two weeks later, and reminded them that I would remove and retract any defamatory statement.1] However, I refused to stop warning people, and rejected their vicious offer of an "agreement to cease and desist . . . to avoid . . . incurring liability." I told them that if they introduce themselves as litigators who will do whatever they can to defend their client against discrimination or sexual abuse victims, there would be nothing to add. But I feel a need to say something when O'Melveny presents itself as impartial because, based on its past, it may not act objectively in such investigations. One of the biggest reasons I made this blog was to warn victims whose complaints are investigated by O'Melveny.

       But if readers are wondering why this blog doesn't have more nasty details, this is why. I want to protect others with sunlight, but I don't want to get sued with only "he said, she said" evidence in my hands. As it turns out, there are enough news reports of O'Melveny's nasty misdeeds to give you a window without me having to take such risks.

       [Addendum: O'Melveny boasted about the money they received from USC, for the aforementioned investigation of USC's alleged wrongdoing. In addition, the investigation has been criticized because it is not going as promised.]

       [Second addendum: In 2022, Rick Caruso ran for mayor of Los Angeles. Mr. Caruso was Chair of the USC Board of Trustees when the college hired O'Melveny to investigate the school's sexual abuse scandal. During that campaign, he was repeatedly grilled over his failure to keep his promise regarding O'Melveny's investigation. (Links onetwo, and three.) It may have contributed to his narrow loss in that race.]

1 I also researched the issue. For example, I was a little concerned about my statement that one of their attorneys was "vicious and callous." But I quickly found cases stating that this is not defamatory as a matter of law in California. Page v. Los Angeles Times, No. B162176, 2004 WL 847527, at *9 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 21, 2004) (“Furthermore, even if the statement did imply Page was ‘irresponsible and callous’ such an implication would be constitutionally protected opinion because such epithets are not provably false.”) (citing to Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1, 19 (U.S. 1990); Mitchell v. Random House, Inc., 865 F.2d 664, 670 (5th Cir.1989) (inference plaintiff was “callous” is nondefamatory opinion; James v. San Jose Mercury News, Inc., 17 Cal.App.4th 1, 14, 20 (accusation lawyer engaged in “sleazy tactics” not defamatory) (Cal.App.4th 1993);  Cochran v. NYP Holdings, Inc., 210 F.3d 1036, 1038 (9th Cir.2000) (accusation lawyer will lie to win a case nondefamatory opinion.))

Brian Boyle, Martin Checov, Apalla Chopra, O'Melveny, investigation, sexual harassment, Adam Karr, USC sexual abuse, omm