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). 

       I don't know, maybe all firms have such cases. Maybe O’Melveny takes the cases other firms do not want. Who knows. And as I wrote earlier, there’s nothing ethically wrong with taking such cases. However, I think O’Melveny’s recruiting should make it clear that this is what you could be working on, so that people with options can make more informed decisions.

       Most recently, I learned that O’Melveny has taken its second Chinese torture case. The first case, from 2007, alleged that an O’Melveny client "aided and abetted and/or ratified these acts of torture." That case was settled, although the victims are now litigating over alleged mis-management of the settlement funds. The new case accuses a different client of “aiding and abetting torture” in a Chinese prison. (pp. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Of course, I do not if any of these allegations are true; they're just allegations and they could all be false. But if someone accuses you of aiding and abetting torture, you know which firm to call.
Jun Zhao v. BYD America Corporation, BYD Electronic America Corp., Matthew Cowan, Michael Joseph Simeone, Dimitri Portnoi, Steven Olson 
[The article below does not describe what happened to the plaintiffs above; rather it discusses the general history of torture in Chinese prisons and efforts within the country to remedy the problem.]