An American Bar Association group plans to meet this week to mull a question stirring up debate around the legal community: can someone who is not a lawyer own part of a law firm?
For 21 years, the answer has been no — except in the District of Columbia, the only jurisdiction in the United States that allows law firms to share fees and profits with non-lawyers...
...“Traditionally, law firms have been owned and controlled solely by lawyers, and they’re bound by a certain regulatory structure,” said Jamie Gorelick, a partner at WilmerHale who co-chairs the Commission on Ethics 20/20. “The concern is that a non-lawyer would not be similarly bound and doesn’t have the same ethical rules as lawyers.”
The same ethical rules as lawyers?
The... same... ethic --- HAHAHHAHAH AH AH AHA HAH AHHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA HA HA HAHAHAHAHHA AHHWHWAHAHHA AHWH AHW AHW HA HAHA HA HA HA AH AH AHHAHAW HA H HA AHHA (*choke*) AHHAWHAHA (*gurgle*) AHWHAHA (*wheeze*) ---
Must. Catch. Breath.
In 2004, observers were "astonished" to discover that a key member of the 9/11 Commission had a fatal conflict-of-interest. Jamie Gorelick had served as a Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton from 1994 to 1997.
It was later revealed that Gorelick had established a pre-Patriot Act "wall" that prevented the foreign intelligence and criminal investigative communities from collaborating.
Her 1995 memo, entitled "Instructions on Separation of Certain Foreign Counterintelligence and Criminal Investigations", stated explicitly that they would "go beyond what is legally required, [to] prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation."
The result: shortly before 9/11, Gorelick's wall "specifically impeded the investigation into Zacarias Moussaoui", the so-called "20th hijacker."
At the time, an enraged FBI investigator wrote a memo to headquarters which included the sentence, 'Whatever has happened to this -- someday someone will die -- and wall or not -- the public will not understand why we were not more effective..."
The 2004 disclosure that Gorelick's service as a 9/11 Commissioner was the archetypical conflict-of-interest should have triggered a cacophony of complaints and demands for a new investigation. Instead, the mainstream media turned deaf and dumb and the controversy faded into the background.
Gorelick's "wall" wrapped a blindfold around America just when it needed its vision to stop the attacks that killed thousands and which sucked a half a trillion dollars out of the economy.
Where did Gorelick turn up next?
Though she had no training or experience in finance, Gorelick was appointed the Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae and served in the role from 1997 to 2003. During that six-year period, she earned over $26 million.
During Gorelick's tenure, FNMA suffered a $10 billion accounting scandal, an ominous harbinger of the firm's looming troubles. One of the falsified transactions helped FNMA hit earnings targets for 1998, which triggered bonuses for top executives including nearly $800,000 to Gorelick.
Put simply "Jamie Gorelick was one of the Fannie executives who benefited from inflated bonuses based on Enron-style accounting."
In 2002 Business Week interviewed Gorelick concerning the health of FNMA. She responded, "We believe we are managed safely. We are very pleased that Moody's gave us an A-minus in the area of bank financial strength -- without a reference to the government in any way. Fannie Mae is among the handful of top-quality institutions."
Less than a year later regulators "accused Fannie Mae of improper accounting to the tune of $9 billion in unrecorded losses."
Gorelick's highly unethical involvement with the 9/11 Commission, her malevolent entanglement with Fannie Mae, her ill-fated defense of Duke College [Ed: intentional Dukie antagonism] against its Lacrosse Team, etc. etc. long ago earned her the nickname "The Mistress of Disaster."
Anyone quoting Gorelick in an article about "ethics" deserves a heaping helping of ridicule. But this is The Washington Post we're talking about, after all.
And, if there were any justice to be found in the District whatsoever, Jamie Gorelick would be serving a 25-to-Life with a 5'9", 350 lb. cellmate -- and soon to be soulmate -- named Tina.