Subject:  Re: Was NY Times' writer Liptak a lure?
Date:  Thu, 24 Apr 2003 10:02:50 -0700
From:  Doug Schafer <schafer@pobox.com>
To:  Keith & Micki Parker <ksparker@telisphere.com>
References:   [message printed below, beneath the line]

Micki, I believe your instincts may be correct about possible vile motives underlying The New York Times story.  I have sent occasional e-mail messages to the members of the ABA Presidential Task Force on Corporate Responsibility, chaired by Jim Cheek.  Their preliminary report in July 2002 recommended the ABA Model Rules be changed to require that lawyers report client lawlessness in certain circumstances, to permit it in others. In other words, even more favorable to the public interests (balanced against private client interests) than the ABA Ethics 2000 Commission.

On the eve of the release of the ruling in my case, I sent the below message to all the Cheek Task Force members urging them to strongly consider, in formulating their final report to the ABA, the public's comments to the SEC on the noisy withdrawal rule, and also to consider the impending ruling in my case (that I truly thought would be favorable to me, and at the very least would thoughtfully address the issues that I had briefed so extensively).

One of the Cheek Task Force members, Solomon Watson, is the General Counsel for The New York Times Company. Adam Liptak is one of the seven in-house lawyers who work for him.  A Google.com search shows that Liptak has been a journalist, and he still writes many NYT articles on legal subjects. [click here for NYT legal dept. roster

I was astounded when I was called by a reporter (whose name I failed to get) for the NYT the morning of Friday, April 18, who said he was doing a story on my case.  I had made no prior effort to contact any NYT reporter about my case.  He said that he had read the ruling and had spent time reading some material on my website.  He gave me no hint that he was going to smear me in his story.

Upon seeing the defamatory story that Liptak wrote, I discovered through Internet checking that Liptak is a litigator who works for Mr. Watson.  I further discovered that Mr. Watson is on the board of directors of the American Corporate Counsel Association ("ACCA") that has been among the leading opponents of the SEC's new lawyer ethics rules.  So it certainly is possible that Mr. Watson and Mr. Liptak were maliciously fabricating "facts" in their story for the purpose of discrediting me, reducing the likelihood that the SEC commissioners would consider my comment letters concerning their proposed lawyer ethics rules. [Click here for my website posting selected comment letters on the SEC proposed lawyer ethics rules, including ACCA's in opposition to, and mine in favor of, those rules.]

Below is my message to the Cheek Task Force members on the eve of the ruling.  In the last two days, I have also posted on my website another message that I sent to those members (see "to ABA" after the NYT story link).  And in the posted Liptak message, I linked to the newly posted "Sean Hicks Petition" that that Bridge and Liptak falsely portrayed as the "Schafer Petition" and as their claimed cause of my so-called "obsessive personal vendetta."  Perhaps I ought to sue The New York Times Company for malicious defamation.

Doug Schafer.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:  Corporate (lawyers) Responsibility
Date:  Wed, 16 Apr 2003 23:19:12 -0700
From:  Doug Schafer <schafer@pobox.com>
To:  "Hamermesh, Prof. Lawrence (Widener Law)" <lawrence.a.hamermesh@law.widener.edu>,"jcheek@bassberry.com" <jcheek@bassberry.com>
BCC:  "jolson@gibsondunn.com" <jolson@gibsondunn.com>,"mccallce@wnj.com" <mccallce@wnj.com>,"Slonim, Nancy Cowger (CheekTF)" <slonimn@staff.abanet.org>,"rmundheim@shearman.com" <rmundheim@shearman.com>,"rramo@swcp.com" <rramo@swcp.com>,"seligman@wulaw.wustl.edu" <seligman@wulaw.wustl.edu>,"apeters@gibsondunn.com" <apeters@gibsondunn.com>,"bide@mckennalong.com" <bide@mckennalong.com>,"bmitchell@wcsr.com" <bmitchell@wcsr.com>,"btennille@ncbusinesscourt.net" <btennille@ncbusinesscourt.net>,"nell_hennessy@aoncons.com" <nell_hennessy@aoncons.com>,"t.gottschalk@gm.com" <t.gottschalk@gm.com>,"watsons@nytimes.com" <watsons@nytimes.com>

Task Force Members:

Please consider, in formulating your report, views such as those the SEC received supporting lawyer whistle-blowing (the noisy withdrawal proposal) from:

Public Citizen:  http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/s74502/publiccit040703.htm
AFL-CIO:   http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/s74502/rltrumka1.htm
Puja Sondhi:  http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/s74502/psondhi040703.htm
Prof. Charles Murdock:  http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/s74502/cwmurdock1.txt
Me:  http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/s74502/schafer040703.htm

And please consider suggesting to all that in E2K's MR 1.6(b)(2) and (3) the phrase "reasonably certain" should be replaced with "likely" (as Kutak initially proposed) as the probability-of-harm modifier that permits lawyers to speak out. If death or serious harm is "reasonably certain" then speaking out should be required!  See:
 http://www.EvergreenEthics.com/E2K/LikelyArgument.html

And lastly, consider the views (for better or worse) that the Washington St. Supreme Court will announce tomorrow (Thursday April 17) morning on whether I was "unethical" in 1996 (as the state bar charges) when I revealed client information to expose a corrupt judge-- In re Schafer --the discipinary ruling to be posted at:
 http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/?fa=opinions.recent

I hope the lawyer fraternity soon re-discovers its "moral compass," though I may jump ship (or walk the plank) before then.

Doug Schafer, idealistic whistling lawyer in Tacoma, Washington.
http://www.DougSchafer.com
http://www.EvergreenEthics.com
http://www.Doug4Justice.org



Keith & Micki Parker wrote (Thu, 24 Apr 2003 07:40:33 -0700):
Doug, Did Liptak ever say what caused him, clear in NY, to take such an interest in your story or how he found out about the court's decision so quickly? Perhaps it's the paranoia in me but is there any chance that the story was prompted by ABA interests, sort of a way to discredit your thoughtful SEC letters on "noisy withdrawal" & your promotion of the Ethics 2000 Commission? You felt so positive after the interview with Liptak & then he writes a story that was so discrediting-- I wonder if he led you along, knowing all the while that he intended to slam the lawyer calling so much attention to the glaring need for lawyer ethics. Just a thought... They are the paper that WSJ's Opinion Journal has been repeatedly so cynical of. Micki