In the twilight of the ceaselessly dueling courtroom gods, legacies wobble and crack.
Once, they were unquestioned giants of the legal profession. David Boies, the slayer of Microsoft’s monopoly, the man Al Gore turned to in hopes of salvaging his bid for the presidency. Alan Dershowitz, one of the intellectual bulwarks of the O.J. Simpson defense team, the tactician immortalized on the big screen for reversing the murder conviction of socialite Claus von Bülow.
But now, as they reach an age when other esteemed elder statesmen of the bar might be basking in acclaim for their life’s work, the 78-year-old Boies and the 80-year-old Dershowitz are brutally yoked in a subplot of the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case. Their link became even tighter and more complicated this past weekend when the disgraced multimillionaire was found dead of an apparent suicide at a federal detention center in New York where he was awaiting trial on new sex trafficking charges. Epstein’s death occurred the day after newly unsealed court documents claimed he had a voracious sexual appetite for underage girls and detailed the alleged methods he and his friends used to recruit them.
The clash between Dershowitz and Boies, and its offshoots, have spawned lawsuits, swarms of stinging court documents, ferocious accusations, angry television appearances, a secretly taped call and more. In this long-running melodrama, Boies and his partners at Boies Schiller Flexner represent one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre — who was a teenage locker-room attendant at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort when she met Epstein. Giuffre has alleged that Epstein demanded that she have sex with him repeatedly when she was underage and lent her for sex to his friends, including Dershowitz.
Dershowitz finds himself labeled as an alleged sex abuser in a personal affidavit by Boies, a claim he has volcanically denied. Dershowitz’s effort to counter the accusations has been made all the more nettlesome because his long-ago representation of Epstein has come under greater scrutiny following Epstein’s arrest last month. Dershowitz, an emeritus Harvard University law professor, is also fending off a defamation suit filed by Giuffre, set for key oral arguments next month, in which Boies has become a vital player.
Because Epstein’s death will end his criminal case, the Giuffre defamation action against Dershowitz could be one of the dwindling number of cases that would allow for the full public airing of numerous accusations against Epstein that his alleged victims have long sought.
As the Boies-Dershowitz conflict has dragged on, Boies, his partners and his allies have tarred Dershowitz in personal affidavits related to a bar complaint and a defamation lawsuit for allegedly bedding Giuffre when she was an underage teenager. In court filings, they portray Dershowitz, who has never been charged with a sex crime, as a liar and a sneak who secretly recorded a call with a fellow lawyer.
“After extensive consideration of everything Mr. Dershowitz told and showed me, I ultimately concluded that his denials were not credible,” Boies wrote in an affidavit included in Giuffre’s defamation suit against Dershowitz. (Giuffre sued Dershowitz because of numerous statements he made in media interviews, including calling her a “certified, complete, total liar” and saying that “she simply made up the entire story for money.”)
Meanwhile, Dershowitz has painted Boies as a corrupt attorney with a long trail of ethical lapses, a cheat and the head of a criminal enterprise.
“I believe the law firm of Boies Schiller is a RICO,” Dershowitz said in a recent interview at his New York apartment, citing the acronym used for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a law frequently used against the mafia. “I believe they are the law firm of extortion, subornation of perjury and other crimes.”
Boies declined repeated interview requests and did not respond to written questions that specifically referenced the RICO allegation, as well as other assertions made by Dershowitz. Giuffre’s attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.
Named in a court filing
The mudslinging between two of America’s most famous and celebrated attorneys tracks to the wee hours of Jan. 22, 2015, when the men were casual acquaintances and occasional confidants. Dershowitz, a ubiquitous TV presence, awoke early that morning at his New York apartment and headed to Rockefeller Center, where he was scheduled to appear on NBC’s “Today” show to discuss the sex allegations made by Giuffre.
On the way, Dershowitz seethed.
Three weeks earlier, his name had surfaced in a court filing by Giuffre, who was then known only as Jane Doe No. 3, asking to join a lawsuit related to the Epstein case. The suit alleged that Epstein’s victims hadn’t been notified in advance of a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors after the wealthy financier was arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking involving minors.
It wasn’t the substance of the complaint about victim notification that was most important to Dershowitz, though. Instead, he was incensed that the filing asserted that Giuffre had been lent to Britain’s Prince Andrew for sex and to Dershowitz, whom she alleged had sex with her at Epstein’s private island, his Palm Beach estate, his New Mexico ranch, his New York mansion and on his private plane.
Dershowitz and the prince adamantly denied the accusations at the time. Dershowitz and Buckingham Palace, speaking on behalf of Andrew, also issued strongly worded denials last week when the court documents were unsealed.
On “Today” that day in 2015, Dershowitz went nuclear. He accused Giuffre of filing “perjured” court papers and said, “She is categorically lying and making the whole thing up.”
Dershowitz has bolstered his contention that Giuffre cannot be trusted by referencing claims that she has made about having dinner with former president Bill Clinton on Epstein’s island. Dershowitz took it upon himself to investigate the Clinton allegation and to clear his name. He hired a security firm headed by former FBI director Louis Freeh to investigate.
Through Freedom of Information Act requests, the firm determined that Clinton could not have been on Epstein’s island during the time period when Giuffre said she had dinner with him. A summary of findings prepared by the Freeh firm states that the FOIA records “completely undermine [Giuffre’s] credibility.” The firm also said it found no evidence to support the sex allegations against Dershowitz.
Last week, Dershowitz also gained what might be a potent weapon in his quest to impeach Giuffre’s credibility in the newly unsealed court documents. The papers relate to a defamation suit filed against Ghislaine Maxwell, whom Giuffre and others have accused of procuring girls and women for Epstein. The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2017. The records were unsealed at the request of several news organizations, including The Washington Post and the Miami Herald, which published a series of articles about Epstein’s alleged abuses prior to his recent arrest.
Among the documents was a 2011 email sent to Giuffre from Sharon Churcher, a journalist for the British tabloid the Mail on Sunday, that Dershowitz contends is proof that Giuffre was being encouraged to lie about him. The email appears to reference a book proposal Giuffre was compiling.
“Don’t forget Alan Dershowitz . . . JE’s buddy and lawyer,” Churcher writes to Giuffre in an apparent reference to Jeffrey Epstein’s initials. “Good name for your pitch as he repped Claus von Bulow and a movie was made about that case . . . title was Reversal of Fortune. We all suspect Alan is a pedo and tho no proof of that, you probably met him when he was hanging put [sic] w JE.”
Churcher did not respond to a request for an interview.
The famed law professor’s campaign to refute Giuffre’s allegations created a pile of legal trouble because of the words he chose. While defending himself, he also cast aspersions on the character and ethics of the two attorneys representing Giuffre in her attempt to join the lawsuit related to notifying Epstein’s victims.
Dershowitz had said in a television interview that the attorneys — Florida-based Brad Edwards and former federal judge Paul Cassell — were “prepared to lie, cheat and steal.” He had described Cassell as “essentially a crook.” (Cassell and Edwards did not respond to interview requests.)
Cassell and Edwards responded in the way lawyers might be expected to — they sued him for defamation.
Despite the lawsuit, Dershowitz continued to vociferously and publicly defend himself.
In Florida, an attorney in Boies’s firm named Carlos Sires was watching “Today” when Dershowitz appeared. He reached out via email to Dershowitz offering to help him with the dispute and later discussed the possibility of representing him. (Dershowitz has said he considered Sires his attorney at that point, a contention that Sires has disputed in an affidavit attached to a bar complaint Dershowitz later filed against Boies.)
Sires also said in the affidavit that he was not aware at the time of his initial contact with Dershowitz that other lawyers in his firm were representing Giuffre in a separate case. That digital note set in motion a cascading series of events that have put Dershowitz and Boies at odds for the past four years. (Sires could not be reached for comment.)
The dispute centered on Dershowitz’s claim that Sires reviewed confidential material about the defamation case filed against Dershowitz by Edwards and Cassell. About a week later, Boies determined that there was a conflict that Sires had not known about and the firm notified Dershowitz that it couldn’t represent him.
Dershowitz was angry, concluding that the firm sneakily got inside information about his defense in order to gain an advantage, according to interviews with Dershowitz. Boies has dismissed that suggestion, saying in a personal affidavit connected to the Florida bar complaint Dershowitz later filed against him that material Sires reviewed was nothing more than a recap of Dershowitz’s public statements.
What Dershowitz didn’t know at the time was that Boies, the man who would become his nemesis, had been in contact with Giuffre for nearly six months. Boies was contacted in June 2014 by Stanley Pottinger, an attorney who was the former head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, about representing Giuffre, according to an affidavit by Boies included in Giuffre’s ongoing case against Dershowitz.
Although Giuffre had two attorneys, Pottinger thought she needed more legal help because he expected her to “become the target of vicious attacks” by people she accused of sex abuse, according to an affidavit Pottinger wrote that is included in Giuffre’s ongoing case against Dershowitz.
The next month, Boies met with Giuffre in New York, according to his affidavit, and he asked Pottinger to vet Giuffre’s claims. Satisfied that she was credible, Boies agreed that his firm would take her on as a client, although he says the firm did no work related to her until November. Boies said in the affidavit that partner Sigrid McCawley represented Giuffre while she was a witness in the defamation suit filed in January 2015 by Edwards and Cassell.
Eventually, Dershowitz came to allege even darker motives for Sires’s outreach after the “Today” interview. He developed a complicated extortion theory involving Boies after being contacted in April 2015 by one of Giuffre’s friends — a woman named Rebecca Boylan — who’d seen coverage of the scandal and agreed to speak with him in a tape-recorded conversation, Dershowitz said in an interview. He played the tape for The Post, but did not let the news organization have a copy,
Boylan, according to Dershowitz’s account of the conversation, told him that Giuffre had never mentioned having sex with him. She added that Giuffre had told her she had been urged by her lawyers to name Dershowitz.
“She felt pressure to do it, she didn’t want to go after you personally,” Boylan said, according to Dershowitz’s tape of the conversation. “She felt pressured by her lawyers.”
But that wasn’t all. Boylan also said that naming Dershowitz was a step in a plan to win an enormous settlement from the founder and CEO of the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie giant. Dershowitz knew Boylan was referring to Leslie Wexner, a billionaire who was a close friend and mentor to Epstein.
“They wanted to sue him for at least half his money,” Boylan said, according to Dershowitz’s tape .
Dershowitz also claims that Boies and his firm were attempting to send a message to Wexner, whom Giuffre had not publicly accused at that point of having sex with her at the behest of Epstein, although she later would. The message, according to Dershowitz, was that Wexner would be publicly shamed, in the same way that Dershowitz had been, if he didn’t pay up.
Boies wrote in his response to Dershowitz’s Florida bar complaint that neither he nor McCawley had been involved in the decision to name Dershowitz and has denied attempting to extort Wexner. He also wrote that “no settlement demand was ever made, or even discussed with, Mr. Wexner or his counsel.”
(Wexner declined to be interviewed, and Boylan could not be reached for comment.)
A secretly taped call
Still, Dershowitz was eager to persuade Boies that he was innocent, according to interviews with Dershowitz and accounts of their interactions included in an affidavit by Boies. The two men began a series of meetings between May and July 2015, according to Boies’s affidavit.
Among the items Dershowitz showed Boies, according to Dershowitz, were detailed calendars that he cited as definitive proof that he could not have been at Epstein’s island, ranch, Palm Beach mansion or on his private plane during the time period when Giuffre said he was having sex with her. (Dershowitz keeps a massive spreadsheet handy at his New York apartment to show the reporters he’s courted to tell his version of events.)
The two lawyers have different memories of those meetings. Dershowitz has asserted in interviews with The Post that Boies told him during those meetings that Giuffre must have mistaken him for someone else. Boies wrote in his affidavit that Dershowitz’s account “is not true.” Among the data points Boies cites in his affidavit is a lie-detector test that he says Giuffre passed. (Results of such tests are seldom deemed admissible in court.)
Later in 2015, Dershowitz took the unusual step of secretly taping a call with Boies. Dershowitz played the tape, which is muffled and cuts off at points, for The Post, but did not allow the newspaper to have a copy. On the tape, Boies appears to say he and one of his partners are convinced Giuffre’s claim of having sex with Dershowitz is “wrong.” Boies said in his affidavit that he never told Dershowitz that Giuffre wasn’t telling the truth.
In Giuffre’s defamation case against Dershowitz, two of Boies’s partners assert that the taping was “a violation of the canons of ethics.” They also say Boies was merely discussing a hypothetical and that he believed all along that Giuffre was telling the truth. Dershowitz has said the taping was entirely legal because at the time he was in New York, which only requires the consent of one of the parties on the call for a legal taping.
Armed with what he thought was a plausible extortion theory and with his taped evidence, Dershowitz went to war.
In 2017, he filed the bar complaint against Boies in Florida. The document lays out his allegations about the Boies firm’s handling of the defamation case filed against him by Edwards and Cassell, and then goes on to read almost like a lengthy Wikipedia article about controversies during what he describes as the Boies firm’s “long and sordid history.” He cites a 2012 case in which a New York judge chided Boies’s firm, saying “a clearer conflict of interest cannot be imagined. A first-year law student on day one of an ethics course should be able to spot it.”
Dershowitz also summarized the controversy over a potential conflict spurred by Boies serving on the board of directors and as a lawyer for Theranos, the scandal-plagued blood-testing start-up.
The bar complaint, which was obtained by The Post, surfaced shortly after Boies was enmeshed in a major conflict-of-interest scandal in 2017 involving the famed movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who was being accused in a series of sexual abuse incidents. At the time, Boies was getting a torrent of bad publicity because of the revelation in media reports that he was representing the New York Times in legal matters without telling the newspaper that he was simultaneously representing Weinstein, who was being investigated by Times reporters. Boies also secretly oversaw an effort to undermine the paper’s reporting by hiring a firm that employed former agents of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, to collect information on Times reporters and Weinstein’s alleged victims.
The Times cut ties with Boies and issued a blistering statement.
“We learned today that the law firm of Boies Schiller and Flexner secretly worked to stop our reporting on Harvey Weinstein at the same time as the firm’s lawyers were representing us in other matters. We consider this intolerable conduct, a grave betrayal of trust, and a breach of the basic professional standards that all lawyers are required to observe.” It added: “We never contemplated that the law firm would contract with an intelligence firm to conduct a secret spying operation aimed at our reporting and our reporters. Such an operation is reprehensible.”
Boies had signed the contract with the spy group, but later tried to distance himself from its work.
“I regret having done this,” Boies said in an email sent to his staff that was published by New York magazine. “It was a mistake to contract with, and pay on behalf of a client, investigators who we did not select and did not control. I would never knowingly participate in an effort to intimidate or silence women or anyone else. . . . That is not who I am.”
Dershowitz seized on the Times imbroglio to press his argument in public that Boies is an unethical lawyer.
“No lawyer in modern American history has ever been more credibly accused of more ethical violations than David Boies and his law firm,” Dershowitz said in a recent interview with The Post.
In 2017, Boies’s firm issued a statement in response to Dershowitz’s conflict-of-interest allegations, saying: “Over the years, there have been some bar complaints filed against Mr. Boies. Each of them was filed by an unhappy adverse party; none was filed by a client. No disciplinary action was ever taken.”
The dispute goes on
The feud between Dershowitz and Boies is well known in legal circles, where both men have earned stellar reputations over the years.
“People can have grudges and sometimes things get heated between lawyers, but based on headlines about two people I’ve worked with, who are talented, smart and committed to their clients, we just don’t have enough information to make a judgment,” said Lawrence Fox, a Yale Law professor and former chairman of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility who has worked alongside both men.
As the months have passed, one by one, Dershowitz’s broadsides against Boies and his allies have cratered. He settled the defamation case filed by Cassell and Edwards, Giuffre’s attorneys, before Boies and his partners came on the scene.
Earlier this year, the Florida bar complaint against Boies got tossed out.
But their dispute continues, with the next field of battle in New York, where Giuffre’s defamation case against Dershowitz — with a potential star plaintiff’s witness named David Boies — trudges on. Boies is a potential witness because he could be called to testify about his interactions with Dershowitz and about Dershowitz’s extortion theory. That means that Dershowitz, the 80-year-old, and Boies, the 78-year-old, will tangle again as the elder party in the grudge match tries to get the younger one’s law firm barred from representing Giuffre in the defamation suit against Dershowitz.
And so it has gone for years, an endless cycle of enmity playing out on a continuous loop. This clash of the titans is so persistent and many-tentacled that one could imagine it outliving the legal giants it has consumed.
The investment-bank model
When David Greenwald returned to co-lead Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in 2013 after a turn as a top Goldman Sachs in-house lawyer, the Wall Street firm was dragging. Revenue had fallen 17% since 2007 and competitors were picking off its lawyers.
One problem, he noticed, was that partners were notoriously lax about turning in their timesheets, which meant clients weren’t always getting billed. The slips were costing the firm $6 million a year.
Mr. Greenwald realized the firm needed to operate less like a law firm partnership and more like the investment bank he’d just left, if it wanted to survive.
He closed underperforming Asia offices and created a finance committee. All partners had to turn in plans for how to expand their businesses. Partners were paid more on merit than seniority, and could no longer see how much each of their peers made.
And Mr. Greenwald told partners to submit their timesheets every week or risk a fine.
Average profits for equity partners at Fried Frank have doubled since 2013, to more than $3 million last year, according to the firm. Gone is the egalitarianism that marked Mr. Greenwald’s early days at the firm: Fried Frank’s highest-paid partner makes 13 times its lowest-paid.
“We’re all on the path from being small partnerships, in which everyone can get in a room and debate and make a decision, to by necessity having to centralize a lot of the decision-making in a group of people or an individual,” Mr. Greenwald said.
That journey from partnerships to profit machines has made some lawyers very wealthy. At the 15 most-profitable law firms, top partners bill on average $1,655 an hour and their rates are rising faster than inflation, according to legal analytics company Bodhala.
At the nation’s 100 largest firms, average equity-partner profits have doubled since 2004, to $1.88 million last year, according to American Lawyer. Eight firms average more than $4 million.
“We’re making much more than anybody who doesn’t save lives deserves,” said David Boies, the litigator who broke off from Cravath in 1997 to launch his own firm. In his best years, Mr. Boies has paid himself $25 million, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Pity the associate
As firms compete to keep profits rising for those at the top, lawyers further down the ladder are sometimes getting left behind. Promising associates who could once expect to be named a partner within seven or eight years are waiting 10 years or more.
Firms have created new steppingstones along the way to appease them—and keep them grinding.
One newly promoted partner at a big firm said he was shocked to learn he would have to spend a year as counsel, an increasingly popular interim title. The firm told him it was to prepare him for the bigger change of being partner. “I wouldn’t be a cynical lawyer if I didn’t think there were other profit-motive reasons,” he said.
Another popular stop-off is “non-equity partner,” the title held by those 560 Kirkland lawyers not invited to the California retreat. They earn a salary rather than sharing firm profits.
In 2000, 78% of partners held equity in their firms, according to American Lawyer’s ALM Intelligence. Last year, 56% did.
At Kirkland, junior partners compete each year for a few coveted slots in the equity-earning partnership, many billing more than 2,500 hours a year to try to set themselves apart. Given how much of the day’s work isn’t billable, that can require working 80 hours or more a week.
At elite New York firms, a two-tiered system was once unthinkable. Partners were partners. In the past year, however, cracks have emerged at two of them.
Simpson Thacher’s leaders told partners in April that they plan to start naming non-equity partners. It is hard not to see the move as a response to poaching by Kirkland, which has lured away more than a dozen Simpson lawyers since 2016, most of them associates and counsel that Kirkland made into partners.
“If the firm won’t be loyal to you,” said David Lat, a longtime lawyer and legal blogger turned recruiter, “why should you be loyal to the firm?”
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, a 131-year old firm that was home to a future U.S. Supreme Court Justice and two New York governors, made a similar announcement this spring when it rolled out a two-tiered partnership. Its leaders said the move is intended to reward promising young lawyers earlier and make the firm more competitive in recruiting.
“It was getting harder to tell associates, ‘stick around for 10 years and see what happens then,’ ” said Willkie’s chairman, Steven Gartner. “They wanted more certainty and wanted it sooner.”
Making partner doesn’t just take longer. It takes hustle. A few decades ago, partner titles were handed out largely on the basis of being technically proficient. Now, being a business generator is a crucial component.
Janice Mac Avoy, a Fried Frank partner, said when she earned the partner title 23 years ago, the business model was “wait for the phone to ring” and do a good job for the client on the other end.
When a partner suggested a lawyer being considered for promotion had great contacts and could generate new business, she recalls a fellow partner saying, “You know that’s not an appropriate consideration.”
Most of the women said Rose alternated between fury and flattery in his interactions with them. Five described Rose putting his hand on their legs, sometimes their upper thigh, in what they perceived as a test to gauge their reactions. Two said that while they were working for Rose at his residences or were traveling with him on business, he emerged from the shower and walked naked in front of them. One said he groped her buttocks at a staff party.
.. Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, one of Rose’s assistants in the mid-2000s, recalled at least a dozen instances where Rose walked nude in front of her while she worked in one of his New York City homes. He also repeatedly called the then-21-year-old late at night or early in the morning to describe his fantasies of her swimming naked in the Bellport pool as he watched from his bedroom, she said.
.. She said she told Yvette Vega, Rose’s longtime executive producer, about the calls.
“I explained how he inappropriately spoke to me during those times,” Godfrey-Ryan said. “She would just shrug and just say, ‘That’s just Charlie being Charlie.’ ”
.. Godfrey-Ryan said that when Rose learned she had confided to a mutual friend about his conduct, he fired her.
.. The environment brimmed with the young and potentially vulnerable, hungry for scarce television jobs.
.. The young women who were hired by the show were sometimes known as “Charlie’s Angels,” two former employees said. Rose frequently gave unsolicited shoulder rubs to several of them, behavior referred to among employees as “the crusty paw,”
.. A few days later, she said, a male colleague approached her, laughing, “Oh, you got the shower trick.”
.. Rose, who was divorced in 1980, has long had a reputation as a ladies man. His “CBS This Morning” co-host, Norah O’Donnell, introduced him at a 2014 fundraiser dinner by joking, “We’re all here because with Charlie Rose, one woman is never enough.”
.. The now-defunct Radar magazine in 2007 called him a “toxic bachelor” and repeated an unnamed woman’s claim that Rose had “palmed her buttock like a honeydew.” His then-attorney, David Boies, who has recently drawn criticism for his representation of Harvey Weinstein, demanded a retraction. The magazine refused.
.. But his wrath was swift and often fiercely persona
.. “Everybody is terrified of him,” said one of the women who said that Rose groped her when she was an intern. “He creates this environment of constant fear. And then he’ll shine a spotlight on you and make you feel amazing.”
.. Multiple women said they had at first been reassured by the presence of Vega, Rose’s executive producer
.. Before she left for Bellport, Bravo said Vega told her that personal time with Rose was a key to becoming part of the team.
.. “I read old emails, and I sound so sycophantic, it makes me sick,” she said. “But it was what he wanted, it made my work easier, and to an extent, it was the same game most staff members played. Male staffers did it, too. They just weren’t feeling as pathetic about it.”
.. Looking back, she is struck by how calculated Rose’s approach seemed.
“He most definitely said, on numerous occasions, ‘I’ve never forced you to do something you didn’t want to do,’ ” she said. “He would say this forcefully and wait for my confirmation after he said this. I remember once wondering if I was being recorded.”
“because I perceived the investigators’ work as trying to ascertain the exact charges against Mr. Weinstein and to develop facts that would prove the charges untrue, I thought at the time that was an appropriate endeavor.”
.. Boies told his colleagues: “Had I known at the time that this contract would have been used for the services that I now understand it was used for, I would never have signed it or been associated in any way with this effort.
.. Boies had few defenders in the legal community Tuesday. Two of his prominent friends, famed First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams and former Solicitor General Ted Olson (who, along with Boies, helped win the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage), both declined interview requests.
.. “On the other hand,” he added, “I think in the main, the media is focusing on an entirely legitimate problem—what is the right role for investigators so they don’t cross the line…I think most people say it’s not appropriate to try to intimidate or pressure people, although that happens both from time to time by investigators and by reporters, for that matter.”
.. Boies said, “it was absolutely clear that we had to be free to continue to represent people who the New York Times was investigating or reporting about.”
.. Boies said that as of Monday, he had only billed five hours, at his usual rate of $1,650 per hour, to help the disgraced movie mogul counter the mushrooming accusations, which now reportedly include the likelihood that he will soon be indicted by Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance in two alleged 2010 rapes of Boardwalk Empire actress Paz de la Huerta.
.. Boies complained that no one at the Times, notably McCraw, bothered to contact him for his explanation of his conduct before issuing their harsh statement
.. response to the paper’s refusal to interview him—not as Weinstein’s attorney but as someone familiar with the facts—for its investigation of the mogul’s abuses.
“It was the first time I ever experienced the situation in which [there was] the person with knowledge, and they had no interest in talking to them,” Boies said, noting that he received several letters from the Times declining his interview offer
The renowned liberal attorney threw ethics out the window to help Harvey Weinstein.
Boies told Farrow that he didn’t think this was a conflict, explaining that he was doing the Times a favor by pushing the newspaper to vet its Weinstein coverage carefully. “If evidence could be uncovered to convince the Times the charges should not be published, I did not believe, and do not believe, that that would be averse to the Times’ interest,” he told the New Yorker... In the Trump era, we often measure justice along one simple axis, one that pits the president and his bullying New York attack dogs against legal rules and norms. But there is and has always been a second axis, one populated by respectable, principled attorneys who will work against the rule of law when they are working for the extremely wealthy. Consider Jamie Gorelick, the longtime Democratic activist and deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton, who represented Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in their business affairs. While Gorelick stepped back in July from handling anything related to Kushner and the Russia probe, her view has always been that everyone deserves quality representation.It is a long-standing American legal tradition dating back to John Adams that even contemptible people deserve good representation. The problem comes when counsel for the 1 percent finds themselves helping their clients contract out of, or bully their way around, the legal rules imposed upon the rest of us.wealthy to fail.
What Boies seems to have done here is the very opposite of fighting for the rule of law. Rather, it looks an awful lot like aiding and abetting a man determined to bypass legal sanctions with money, privilege, and terror. At the very least, he created an attorney-client bubble around grotesque abuse. But Boies also should have known what lawyers and investigators were doing to vulnerable women in the interest of protecting Weinstein. In conceding that he failed to supervise or manage a raft of outside investigators, Boies was also admitting that Weinstein essentially bought his way around his legal relationship with his lawyer, then deployed that same legal relationship for cover.There are many, many legal stratagems that allow society’s wealthiest to buy their way out of criminal and civil sanctions. In Weinstein’s case, those stratagems have included oppressive nondisclosure agreements and legal threats and attempts to confuse and harass witnesses. Anyone who has watched Donald Trump ooze his way out from under oodles of lawsuits knows that there have always been Platinum Elite workarounds for the rule of law—and lawyers willing to fly you there. This week we learned that Boies may very well be one of them.
He has aided fallen financiers including AIG’s Hank Greenberg and Enron’s Andy Fastow.
.. But he is also an inveterate risk taker — a lover of the action in Las Vegas as well as at his firm Boies Schiller & Flexner — who goes the extra mile for clients. He did a favour for Mr Weinstein, and it is costing him in the court of public opinion.
Mr Boies signed a contract on July 11 hiring a business intelligence firm called Black Cube to spy on Mr Weinstein’s accusers, The New Yorker magazine reported. Run by former Israeli intelligence agents, its operatives used false identities to gain the trust of the people in the case and collect information about them. Its objectives included helping Mr Weinstein “stop the publication of a negative article in a leading NY newspaper”.
However, the mis-step by Mr Boies was hardly an isolated incident. After allegations emerged in 2015 that the blood tests designed by Silicon Valley laboratory Theranos were inaccurate, Mr Boies could be found sitting on the board of the company while his firm was providing it legal advice.
.. he would listen to his mother read and memorise the information. His powers of recall served him well.
.. His courtroom style is notoriously disarming. His attire — typically, a Lands’ End jacket and trousers — comes straight from the heartland. But his questions are hard. After he was done with Westmoreland, the general said he wished he had a lawyer like Mr Boies.
.. Mr Boies matched wits so successfully with Bill Gates that the software supremo was left shaken. “I’m the one with the good memory,” Mr Gates protested to Vanity Fair. “He’s the one trying to confuse people.”
.. Mr Olson. “He has overcome a reading disability. He processes information very, very quickly. He remembers things very well.”
.. He is a man known for conducting several telephone conversations at once. Even as he was responding to the Weinstein scandal, Mr Boies returned to the headlines in a controversial dispute involving American football.
“If evidence could be uncovered to convince The Times the charges should not be published, I did not believe, and do not believe, that that would be adverse to The Times’s interests.”
.. But as The Times’s leadership pointed out in its own statement, it never contemplated that the firm would contract with investigators to do opposition research on its own reporters. Unsurprisingly, The Times considered this conduct to be a “grave betrayal of trust,” and grounds to terminate the firm. It is hard to imagine how a lawyer of Mr. Boies’s caliber would not have anticipated this reaction.
It gets worse. Bar ethical rules prohibit lawyers not only from engaging in fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, but also from inducing others to do so. They also specifically forbid lawyers from directing non-lawyers to engage in prohibited conduct. Black Cube employees were in fact involved in such deceit; investigators misrepresented their identities in order to gain confidences from women whom Mr. Weinstein had harassed or assaulted.
Although Mr. Boies now claims that he had no knowledge of such practices, he surely was in a position to have such knowledge and had reason to suspect them. He had hired an organization known for hardball tactics and reportedly received reports of their findings.
.. Mr. Boies stated: “Mr. Weinstein has himself recognized that his contact with women was indefensible and incredible hurtful. In retrospect, I knew enough in 2015 that I believe I should have been on notice of a problem and done something about it.”
.. When leaders with such high visibility cut ethical corners, it sends a powerful and corrosive message.