Friday, September 08, 2006

HP Confidential

Ok, I know what it is. I just love seeing lawyers in trouble! Especially lawyers who should know better.

But you have to check this out--the Wall Street Journal's blog on the HP/Wilson Sonsini fracas. Copies of emails!! I love copies of emails! And emails between Larry Sonsini and Thomas Perkins!

In Sonsini's first email to Perkins, I particularly love the following (I've added in a translation for those of you who haven't wasted three years of your life at law school):

Tom, be careful of your discussions about the inquiry and the HP Board process and deliberations in that all of that is confidential and, as you know, you have the obligation to continue to respect that confidentiality. You do not want to be in breach of your duties inherited whiile you were an HP director. Those duties of confidentiality continue.

Translation: Tom...shut up already! Or maybe bad things will happen to you!

Also, remember, that you confirmed that you did not have any disagreement with HP or the Board as a whole (although you did have issues with the Chairman).

Translation: Remember how you said you were mad at Patricia Dunn and not the board? Remember? You remember that, right? Because we don't want to have to go report this thing to the SEC.

Also, Viet Dihn may be a lawyer but query whether your discussions are attorney-client privileged.

Translation: Dihn's not really your lawyer, so you shouldn't talk to him. You don't want to talk to Dihn... These aren't the droids you are looking for...

I looked into the conduct of the investigation and got a report from counsel at HP who was responsible for the effort. ... The investigating team did obtain information regarding phone calls made and received by the cell or home phones of directors. This was done through a third party that made pretext calls to phone service providers. Apparently a common investigatory method which was confirmed with experts. The legal team also checked with outside counsel as to the legality of this methodology. ...It appears, therefore, that the process was well done and within legal limits. The concerns raised in your e-mail did not occur.

Translation: I am chairman of one of the top tech company law firms in the country, with armies of extremely high-paid associates desperate to bill 2400 hours per year. And pretexting sure sounds like it should be illegal. But, hey, if HP's lawyer says pretexting is legal, it must be legal, right? And, besides, everyone is doing it, so it just has to be legal. So stop worrying your pretty little head...

1 comment:

Mary-N-Texas said...

The translation of the "Is Viet Dihn, the lawyer you hired, really your lawyer?" is classic. Does this stuff really work?