Monday, May 19, 2014

David Boies, integrity, airplanes and why I must be the dumbest guy in the room

I just did a blog on Peter Moschetti, one of if not the best lawyers I've ever met and certainly one of the most ethical ethics commissioner's I've ever been exposed to.  The blog had to do with integrity and airplanes.

And it got me thinking about David Boies, airplanes, integrity and great lawyers.

Now I've never met David Boies but he did keep me waiting for 2 hours one Saturday for a conference call that never happened about airplane investigations and JJOKE.  I still have an unpaid invoice for $2000 outstanding for those 2 hours but after watching Mr. Boies performance surrounding his giving a free lift to David Ellenhorn, a state lawyer in litigation involving one of Mr. Boies clients, I know I'm not nearly smart enough to ever collect that invoice.

For almost 6 months I've been trying to figure out how David Boies could have stated that "I do not believe there was any misconduct on Mr. Ellenhorn's part in accepting the ride I offered". 

For almost 6 months I've been trying to figure out how neither David Boies nor David Ellenhorn have been charged with violating the Public Officers Law for offering and accepting an illegal gift.

For almost 6 months I've been trying to figure out how David Ellenhorn could have even been in Omaha deposing the head of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, given that David Ellenhorn was a shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway. 

For almost 6 months I've been trying to figure out how David Ellenhorn could have failed to disclose this fact on his financial disclosure report at the time.

For almost 6 months I've been trying to figure out how David Boies's former law partner Harlan Levy could have made all those phone calls to David Boies current partner Nick Gravante the weekend the plane trip first appeared in the media,  when Harlan Levy was suppose to be "walled off" from cases involving his former partners.

And after 6 months I've realized if I can't figure it out it has to be because I am wrong on the law regarding offering and accepting gifts from a disqualified source or David Boies is the greatest ethics lawyer ever.

Lets review the law first.  It's pretty straight forward.

JJOKE's predecessor commission stated as follows in Opinion 8-01:

"The Commission reaffirms this general rule that State officers and employees should not, directly or indirectly, solicit a gift of nominal value from a disqualified source, nor should a disqualified source, directly or indirectly, offer or give a gift of nominal value to a State officer or employee. 

            A “disqualified source” is an individual who, on his or her own behalf or on behalf of a non-governmental entity, or a non-governmental entity on its own behalf which:
(4)        is involved in litigation, adverse to the State, with the State agency with which the State officer or employee is employed or affiliated, and no final order has been issued;"
It seems you don't have to be the greatest lawyer of your generation to understand if you are involved in litigation with the state (David Boies was) you don't offer a free chartered jet trip worth thousands of dollars to opposing counsel (David Ellenhorn).  And if you are a state employee (David Ellenhorn was) you don't accept the offer and take the free trip on the private jet.  Yet they did and neither has been punished for it.  David Boies is still representing the party litigating with the State and David Ellenhorn is still the lead counsel on that case.
So if the law is as clear as it is why hasn't JJOKE done something about it?
Because David Boies is that good.
As far as a JJOKE investigation goes David Boies may just be bulletproof, the Teflon barrister when it comes to providing private jet trips to state employees.  
I had heard disturbing rumors about JJOKE and Boies and I had wondered why Boies acted like he had nothing to worry about when he was discussing the jet trip in the media.
Now after seeing Boies in action I have to wonder why Al Gore wasn't president.

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