Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Harvard Westlake and the SEC

Reader tip: There is an Archive for the HW articles.

Latham & Watkins [ L & W ] is the link.

SEC has a new Chairman Christopher Cox because of $48M that went missing, prompting a GAO review.

1st Century Bank Board has links to both Harvard Westlake and Latham & Watkins

ALAN I. ROTHENBERG - Chairman of the Board, retired in 2000 as a partner in the Los Angeles law office of Latham & Watkins, LLP and is now a mediator, arbitrator, and consultant to major corporations.

ALAN D. LEVY on the board for 1st Century is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles.

Latham & Watkins and Los Angeles District Attorney Linked to UCLA

- Curt Livesay [UCLA '62 Grad], Chief Deputy to LA District Attorney Cooley
- David Fleming [UCLA '59 Grad] is of L & W, and Member of Dean's Counsel at UCLA Law School

Frunding from L & W to Harvard Westlake

Christopher Cox was a L & W associate and partner.

Fleming also of Latham & Watkins is a Former Commissioner, Ethics Commission, City of Los Angeles. According to the LA City Ethics database, Latham & Watkins gave $7,265.00 to Harvard Westlake.

Municipal Lobbying Payments from Clients to Lobbying Firms
Second Quarter 2003
(April 1 through June 30, 2003
Funding from L & W to Bush Administration

L & W were also a source of funding the Bush's election, are involved in Energy related concerns in Texas and California, and have links to the Harvard Westlake Board. $40,000:
Justice Department Transition Team: Thomas Patten [POC] Latham & Watkins, $40,000
Also, funding from Latham & Watkin's MICHAEL CHERTOFF went directly to the Bush-2000 Campaign. Chertoff is now assigned to Department of Homeland Security; Chertoff was an associate at Lantham & Watkins 1980-1983. Note the overlap with Cox also assigned to L & W 1978-1986.

It is possible L & W was on the Cheney Energy Task force.

White House linked to Los Angeles District Attorney

This is not the only connection between the Harvard Westlake lawsuit and the White House. The LA County District Attorney, which refused to bring charges against a student for posting death threats, chartered a task force on Jail House Witness Protection. Bush's US Treasurer, Rosario Marin, was also on Cooley's task force.

There is some confusion of the dates: Some have him listed as an associate from 1978-1984; then a partner from 1984-1986:
  • Career: Law Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals, San Francisco, CA, 1977-1978;
  • Associate, Latham and Watkins, Newport Beach, CA, 1978-1984;
  • Partner, Latham and Watkins, Newport Beach, CA, 1984-1986;
  • Senior Associate Counsel, The White House, 1986-1988.

  • However this bio lists him in another way:

  • senior associate counsel to President Reagan, 1986-88;
  • co-founder, Context Corp., St. Paul, Minn., 1984-86;
  • lecturer on business administration, Harvard Business School, 1982-83
  • partner, Latham & Watkins law firm, 1978-82, 1984-86 [2 year gap]
  • law clerk to Judge Herbert Y.C. Choy, U.S. 9th Court of Appeals, 1977-78.
  • It's unclear which version is correct.

    We would hope that appropriate public review would look into the matter to get a better understanding of what his duties were at Latham & Watkins between 1978 and 1986; and his apparently "failure" to disclose the connections to Harvard Business school [1982 and Cotex Corporation.

    Other biographical info:

    Born in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minn., October 16, 1952;
    attended St. Gregory’s School, St. Paul, Minn., 1957-1966;
    attended St. Thomas Academy, St. Paul, Minn., 1966-1970;
    B.A., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.,1973;
    M.B.A., Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass., 1977;
    J.D., Harvard University Law School, Cambridge, Mass., 1977;

    Cox was assigned to the White House as Senior Associate Counsel, The White House, 1986-1988.

    L & W Associates/Partners assigned to Bush Administration

    Dabney Langho Friedrich, with L & W, [ 1994 - 1995 - Associate, Latham & Watkins, San Diego office ]. Associate Counsel to the President, $115000 salary, Executive Office of the President. Works for White House Counsel Harriet Miers, on the Justice transition team working with Maureen Mahoney and Thomas Patten both of L & W. Further, because an "employee of Miers" is reported to have been involved, we believe L & W can be indirectly linked to the missing Judge Roberts documents from the Reagan Library.

    Vice President Cheney's daughter married Philip J. Perry who is a partner with L & W and also interfaces with Department of Homeland Security [DHS].

    Perry was first appointed as DoJ Acting Associate Attorney General on or about AUGUST 17, 2001.

    Perry, 36, has served in the Department of Justice since the Administration's transition as Associate Deputy Attorney General and Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General. In this capacity, he provides oversight to the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Environment and Natural Resources and Tax Divisions.

    Prior to entering the Department, Perry was a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Latham & Watkins. In 1997, Perry served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Investigation of Campaign Finance Abuses.

    As a partner in Latham & Watkins, Perry practiced in commercial litigation, arbitration, government investigations, and federal administrative law. His experience included matters involving government contracts, health care, securities, intellectual property rights, software and biotechnology issues. He has represented clients in federal and state courts, before Committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and before certain federal government agencies.

    Perry graduated from Colorado College in 1986 and Cornell Law School in 1990.

    "Since becoming Attorney General, I have relied heavily on Phil's wise counsel and advice on a wide range of issues," said Ashcroft. "His expertise in many areas of the law make him the right choice to serve as the Acting Associate Attorney General."

    Perry left the DOJ position he worked in OMB for a period of time, then returned to Latham and Watkins, and in 2005 was reappointed by Bush, but to the DHS position. Perry replaced Joe D. Whitley who resigned as DHS General Counsel.

    While back at Latham, Perry was a lobbyist to DHS for Lockeed Martin, one of the prime contractors involved in DHS efforts. Wow, wonder why the fucking government had its head up its ass about "what to do" when Katrina hit? Stupid shit Perry looks like he's conflicted, "Oh, my . . . what should I do ... should I be loyal to the people, or to Latham, or to the contractor . . I'm so confused." Head up his ass like Brown.

    The Senate minutes shows that on 19 May 2005, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs had a full hearing, which "should" included detailed biographical information:

    On May 19, Full Committee, to hold hearings to examine the nominations of Philip J. Perry, of Virginia, to be General Counsel, Department of Homeland Security; to be followed by a hearing on the nominations of Carolyn L. Gallagher, of Texas, and Louis J. Giuliano, of New York, each to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service, and Tony Hammond, of Virginia, to be a Commissioner of the Postal Rate Commission, 9:30 a.m., SD-562.

    Ref: 29 Mar 2005 White House announcement:

    For Immediate Release
    Office of the Press Secretary
    March 29, 2005

    Personnel Announcement

    The President intends to nominate Philip J. Perry, of Virginia, to be General Counsel at the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Perry currently serves as a Partner with Latham & Watkins, LLP. Previously, he served as General Counsel in the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President. Mr. Perry has also served as Acting Associate Attorney General and Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice. He earned his bachelor's degree from Colorado College and his J.D. from Cornell Law School.

    25 May 2005, about 90 days before Katrina hit Louisiana, the Senate voted Perry's normination to be DHS General Counsel and 9 July 2005 officially confirmed him as DHS General Counsel. Nintety days isn't enough time for a Cornell Law Graduate to get up to speed? Not all that impressive.

    But he did have a second notice on 10 July 2005 on fraud, waste, and abuse issues, thanks to a carefully crafted letter from Liberman and Collins. What happened, Philip were you sleeping again or did you just need more time to "talk" to your father-in-law about what to say when people tell you to, "Go fuck yourself"?

    Keep in mind that there were hearings on DHS personnel workforce requirements: Meaning, there were clear statements on what was required, what DHS needed, and how these clearly promulgated reuqirements were to be fulfilled with OMB hirings. Isn't it interesting that Perry was at OMB, yet we are to find out later in Katrina that the personnel hired in DHS for FEMA duty [including Brown] weren't really up to the task. Brown then whined that "it's hard" being a government worker with all this complaining -- this is what you get when you make misleading statements on your resummee-- you're not qualified, and will understsandably screw things up when there's a ral job to do. Perry, what's your excuse?

    There's also been some whining that "The Congress" is the one that created DHS. Actually, it was the President who proposed the structure. If the President didn't like the structure he proposed why didn't he veto it? Again, the Republicans were the ones who controlled Congress.

    Further, there were hearings on the relationship between Intelligence COmmunity and DHS, raiseing the question: What's been going on since 2002 in DHS; and what kind of information has DHS, if at all, been giving to FEMA when the state-level assessments were coming back in the DHS IG audits; or did FEMA ignore this information; or is there some other "big mystery" that Perry can help us understand, perhaps it has something to do with his fun and games after he left OMB and went back to Latham?

    Perry's Key Dates at DHS, per Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and Homeland Security:

    Philip J. Perry
    Title: General Counsel
    Status: Confirmed
    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    President: Bush
    Date Nominated: April 04, 2005
    Date Confirmed: June 08, 2005
    Senate Action:

    April 04, 2005 - Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

    May 19, 2005 - Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Hearings held.

    May 25, 2005 - Placed on Senate Executive Calendar. Calendar No. 140. Subject to nominee's commitment to respond to requests to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of the Senate.

    June 08, 2005 - Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

    Also, keep in mind that hurrican Katrina is mixed in with this. Perry, as General Counsel for DHS, is smack in the middle of the legal issues covering contract awards in FEMA.

    Curiously, Perry's former client at Latham & Watkins was Lockeed Martin, one of the contractors that won the contract for the Katrina reconstruction related efforts.

    The issue going forward:

  • Has Latham and Watkins been tipped off to a potential GAO investigation into possible contract bid rigging in re Katrina;

  • What role did the House Government reform committee play in adequately investigating the Lockeed-Latham role;

  • Is there a reason to question the adequacy of the House Goverment reform committee investigation into Latham-Lockeed, given the lead for that House investigation is married to a Executive Office of the President OMB Procurement person named David Safavian, arrested for allegedly engaging in procurement fraud.

    David Safavian's "wife, Jennifer Safavian, is chief counsel for oversight and investigations on the House Government Reform Committee, which is responsible for overseeing government procurement and is, among other things, expected to conduct the Congressional investigation into missteps after Hurricane Katrina."Ref

    You don't think that someone in either GAO or the House Goverment Reform Committee would tip off Latham about a potential investigation into this matter, do you?

    Will Safavian help or get in the way of finding out how much the Katrina-Rita clean up costs are actually going to be; or will they simply do what they did in Iraq, and throw money to the wind without credible Congressional oversight?

    Here's some more about the already problematic Katria cleanup costs; and if you scroll down toward the bottom of this blog, you'll read more about how the Rita costs are going to increase above and beyond what has already been factored into the RNC estimates for budget cutting.

    In Bush’s first term in office, Perry was general counsel to the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he helped draft the 2002 legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security. Ref
    Perry is also linked to DoJ and the L & W transition team, which provided 40,000 to the Bush Team:
    Before joining Latham & Watkins, Mr. Perry was general counsel of the White House Office of Management and Budget and, before that, acting associate attorney general at the Justice Department, where he oversaw civil litigation divisions. In 2000, Mr. Perry, who has a law degree from Cornell Law School, worked on the Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition team and was an adviser to Dick Cheney as he prepared for the vice-presidential debates.Ref
    Also, Colorado Congresswoman Rep. Diana DeGette who spoke out against Los Alamos Lab [DOE] bloggers and received contributions from another law firm Brownstein Hyatt & Farber, hiring C. Suzanne "Sue" Mencer a previous DHS employee.

    Latham & Watkins has represented various energy traders and appeared in connection with various energy interests before DoE. It remains unclear what concerns American Reinsurance Company have with the Harvard Westlake lawsuit. HW feeds some stuidents into Princeton adjacent to ARI.

    L & W are reported to be very influential in injecting language into EPA related regulations. Now interacting with EPA, former L & W attorneys include now with EPA: Holmstead, William Wehrum, Claudia M. O'Brien, and Timothy Hunt.

    L & W linked to SEC

    Latham & Watkins was also the firm which did the study on SEC filings in 1997. The firm is a prominent securities litigator before the commission.

    The Lantham & Watkins securities-related links have been removed, but they are available in the archive
  • The SEC's New M&A and Cross-Border Rules - Comprehensive Reforms to Merger, Proxy and Tender Offer Regulations From Latham & Watkins.
  • The SEC's Regulation FD-Fair Disclosure From Latham & Watkins.
  • Use of Proceeds Language May Prevent Securities Fraud Lawsuits From Latham & Watkins.
  • It appears as though L & W were reporting Mercury Air Group decision because it offered a boiler plate to make it more difficult for investors to bring 10b-5 claims for allegations of securities fraud.

    Latham and Watkins settle over allegations of misleading information

    Allegations Latham and Watkins made misleading statements to the govement:
    In 1995 he was named a defendant in a lawsuit by investors as a result of legal work he did for an investment group in the 1980s. The suit accused Cox, his former law firm and two former colleagues of misleading regulators and investors about the condition of a real estate investment fund. Cox, who denied that he had violated any laws, was eventually dropped from the lawsuit. The firm where he worked, Latham & Watkins, settled for an undisclosed amount. Ref

    Latham Connected to Andersen, shredder of 2 tons of paper

    The [Andersen] case was argued [ before the US Supreme Court ] by Maureen Mahoney, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP, who worked with Andersen’s counsel and attorneys of the firm’s appellate and constitutional practice. Mahoney commented: "We are very grateful that the Supreme Court has reversed Andersen’s conviction. Hopefully, this decision begins to thaw some of the chilling effects on routine business functions that resulted in the wake of Andersen’s conviction."Ref
    Ask Scott Bowie now with Linklaters his views on Latham & Watkins -- ask about a nondisclosure agreement. Bowie is no longer with L & W.


    Unlikely that SEC will push for much pressure on attorneys to disclose conflicts. Could see a reversal of rule 203b, which is related to noisy withdraws. This came up during SarBox.

    We would expect that under Christopher Cox, the SEC would be less friendly to the investors and more pro-business and an advocate for the legal community and general counsels on the corporate board. Ref RefRef

    The imminent departure of Attorney General Spitzer and the resignation of the US Attorney in New York suggests the 1990s barnstorming days are around the corner. Buyer beware!