Saturday, December 12, 2020

Hoping a client gets 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, like an agent who learns that a client got a big acting role. 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.

       And such partners aren't restricted to O’Melveny. For example, a partner at Akin Gump couldn't even wait for the lawsuit to be announced. He stole secret documents about impending government actions, so he could be the first one to call the defendant with the news and get their business. After he was arrested, he said he did it to “identify clients to solicit for business when I was in practice and, thereby, to make myself more successful at Akin Gump.”

       A new lawsuit is festive news at law firms, and O'Melveny appears to be salivating at the thought of the next administration's enforcement actions, to extend their "eat what you kill" metaphor. The Biden administration hasn't even taken office yet, and O'Melveny is already giving a presentation anticipating the lawsuits it will file. 

       Just like the Akin Gump partner, the nine speakers at this event all worked in government until a public servant's salary was no longer enough. I haven't heard of them stealing documents to get a leg up on the competition, but they have other sales techniques. One of them claims that he can get better results because he knows people at the Department of Justice. Another constantly tells people that he knows Vice President Kamala Harris. (Links onetwothree, four and five, among others. What's funny is that a partner at another law firm is actually married to Ms. Harris and he resigned his position rather than have people think that he was trying profit off of the relationship, but they seem to do things differently at O'Melveny.) 
   omm, omelveny, o'melveny, Daniel Suvor, Ben Singer, Doug Emhoff, DLA Piper