Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Servants of the Damned

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Judd Legum has a very interesting interview at Popular Information. It begins:

I recently finished reading “Servants of the Damned,” a new book by New York Times business investigations editor David Enrich. The book exposes how Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, has used its immense power to enable corporate misconduct and, more recently, the Trump administration. I reached out to Enrich because his book provides essential insights into how corporations, with the help of firms like Jones Day, manipulate the political system. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. I hope you enjoy it. — Judd

LEGUM: You describe regulatory changes around advertising that facilitated the growth of Jones Day and other law firms into much larger, much more powerful forces. It switched the focus of the firm from being officers of the court to doing whatever it takes to advance corporate interests and maximize firm profits. How much of this do you think is a reflection of Jones Day’s evolution versus Jones Day responding to the demands of the modern corporation?

ENRICH: It’s actually a really easy answer to that question. It’s both. There’s a symbiotic relationship between these law firms and their big corporate clients. It’s not a coincidence that as the global economy globalized and big companies became global, law firms were following suit.

It’s a cycle that kind of reinforces itself, because the more you expand, the more revenue you need to pay for that expansion, which means you need to become more aggressive in pursuing clients and assignments. The bigger you get, and the faster you get bigger, the more pressure there is on your lawyers to swallow the concerns that they might otherwise have had, put morality aside, and really just focus, within the confines of legal ethics and the law, on how far can we push to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible.

LEGUM: One of the through lines of the book I was really interested in is this idea of the law firm and how it chooses its clients. Do the misdeeds of the client reflect on the attorney? The pat answer that Jones Day keeps falling back on is that everyone needs an attorney, even unpopular people.

ENRICH: . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

27 September 2022 at 8:08 pm

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