Saturday, October 24, 2020

Introduction and summary

       Welcome and thank you for visiting. I am a former attorney who used to work at O'Melveny & Myers. I was so surprised by what I saw there that I 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 of a few posts. I hope you find them informative.

       1. According to the New York Times, O'Melveny 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. The attorney who reportedly threatened the young woman is chair of the firm's Trial Practice Committee.

       2. The firm has a history of conducting reportedly sham "independent investigations." If O'Melveny conducts such an investigation at your organization, expect them to reach the conclusion desired by the person who hired them. 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 this story 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. Or see this story about an O'Melveny alumnus who was arrested by the FBI as he tried to negotiate an independent investigation retainer. 

       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. This person manages their Financial Services Practice Group.

       4. The firm has a disconcertingly 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 (links one and two). 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 avoidable deaths, to maximize partner profits (links one, twothree, and four)

       5. On the topic of money, an O'Melveny attorney once told me they can "monetize" government positions. 

       6. 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 they realized that their baseless accusation wasn't going to scare me, 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.

       7. 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 this document was "unconscionable" (case onetwothree) -- O’Melveny continued to force its employees to sign it until 2018, when law students pressured law firms to abandon this practice

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

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

       10. O'Melveny claims to support diversity by following the Mansfield Rule, but their track record suggests otherwise. O'Melveny even chose not to stop a client from making racist comments about a judge.


       11. The firm consistently grades itself at the top-end, usually the top three, in Vault's self-graded rankings. But with some of the rankings, you may be able to catch them in the act. (Links one, two, three and four). For example, O'Melveny has repeatedly graded itself as the number one firm in the world for hours. But if you gathered data on hours from all firms, you may be able to prove that it's giving itself a higher ranking than it deserves. In fact, in one of the years that O'Melveny graded itself as the best firm for hours, two of Vault's six take-aways for O'Melveny criticized its "unpredictab[le]" and "long hours." If you did prove this, it wouldn't be as serious as the other items in this list, but it may reflect a fundamentally dishonest culture.

       12. 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.

       13. 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 over thirty years ago. 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 about this firm 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 #6 above). I'm 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 omelvenyethics@outlook.com 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.
  
Brad Butwin, Dan Petrocelli, Brian Boyle, Adam Karr, omm, omelveny, Christopher Rieck, Brandon Jacobsen