Thursday, April 11, 2013

When Conflicts Allegations Make the Evening News (Update on Detroit Story)

More news regarding the situation in Detroit we covered previously. From ALM (h/t to Legal Ethics Forum) comes: "Ethics Experts: No Conflict in Jones Day's Detroit Role" --
  • "The pending retention of Jones Day to help financially crippled Detroit as it attempts to stave off what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is getting fresh scrutiny this week from local politicians, who claim that hiring the firm to advise the city may create conflicts of interest given the recent appointment of former Jones Day restructuring partner Kevyn Orr to serve as the city's emergency manager."
  • "'People can raise objections if they want, but that doesn't make them true,' says the spokesman, Bill Nowling, who adds that Orr went to 'great lengths' to separate himself from discussions with Detroit while still at Jones Day and that the contract has been negotiated exclusively with the mayor's office."
  • "A trio of ethics experts contacted by The Am Law Daily Wednesday agreed that Orr's ties to Jones Day do not by themselves create a conflict of interest and that the city's decision to employ a firm that Orr is familiar with and knows to be experienced in restructuring work is a smart one."
What's fascinating about this story is that it made the local news, under its "CITY IN CRISIS" banner. Again, illustrating yesterday's theme that external perceptions are important to weigh in such matters, in addition to professional and ethical considerations.

One doesn't often see these issues covered with headline banners. Here's a video of the segment:

For more local coverage on this, see also the Detroit Free Press.

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