Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Alleged Law Firm Political Conflicts

In Connectcticut the Journal Inquirer published an editorial which highlights how appearances matter, regardless of what professional rules and regulations permit: "Law firm’s lobbying compromises Cafero" --
  • "When a member of a law firm, a former speaker of the state House of Representatives, is paid to lobby the General Assembly and the House Republican minority leader is also a member of that law firm and they both proclaim that this is not a conflict of interest — and apparently the state Ethics Committees agrees — we are living in a world of make-believe."
  • "If that former House speaker, Thomas Ritter, of the Hartford law firm Brown Rudnick, a prominent Democrat, lobbies his law partner, Norwalk Rep. Lawrence Cafero, the House Republican minority leader, and Cafero happens to agree with Ritter’s requests on behalf of one of the firm’s clients and goes on to support legislation benefiting that client, then any claim by Brown Rudnick, Cafero, or Ritter that they are impartial is absurd."
  • "Apparently belief that even the appearance of conflict of interest should be avoided in government has died out in Connecticut. If Cafero and Ritter are both paid by the law firm and the law firm is lobbying for clients before the legislature, members of the law firm who remain in the legislature are compromised."

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