Edit War: Fish Fights Back

Posted in Law Firm Edit War on March 30th, 2010 by bl1y

Back on February 5th I edited the Fish & Richardson Wikipedia article, adding information about the closing of the firm’s corporate practice, layoffs of 110 staff and attorneys, increase in revenues of 4.7% and increase in profits of 20%.

On February 14th, those changes were deleted by the user Lneal, so I of course have put them back.  “Lneal” is most likely an employee of Fish & Richardson.  Wikipedia shows Lneal has made 26 edits, 25 of which were to the Fish page (the other was Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton).

I don’t know of any ethics opinions on point, but I have to imagine that Wikipedia articles have the potential to be an attorney advertisement, if significantly edited by the firm, and if editing in an advertisementy way.  Not only does Wikipedia not allow articles to be used as advertisements (violates neutral tone rules), but since Wikipedia articles don’t carry Warning: Lawyer Advertisement! labels, they could be prohibited advertisements under professional responsibility and ethics rules.

*Update*

After some research, I’ve found that there is an Elizabeth Neal who was hired as Fish and Richardson’s director of events and communications in 2008.

As Director of Events & Communications, Elisabeth Neal will be responsible for external communications including material, website, and client alerts. She also manages all firm events and regional marketing activities and works closely with the practice group and business development marketing team to coordinate firm-wide marketing initiatives as well as cross-marketing opportunities.

My guess is Lneal is “Liz” Neal.  Keeping tabs on the firm’s Wikipedia page certainly seems like it would be part of her job.

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Edit War: Bingham McCutchen, Fish & Richardson, and Wilmer Hale

Posted in Law Firm Edit War on February 5th, 2010 by bl1y

Today sees three new targets in the Law Firm Wikipedia Edit War, all thanks to what should be an embarrassing article from The Boston Globe.

Bingham McCutchen laid off associates, and then posted not only increased profits per partner (which can happen when you cut expenses), but also increased revenue.  How you cut staff while having an increased workload is beyond me.  Sounds like their clients are getting ripped off.

But, what makes Bingham’s actions particularly bad is that the firm chairman described 2009 as the “best year ever.”  Yeah, unless you were one of the people for whom it was the worst year ever.  Douche.

Fish & Richardson also conducted lay offs while posting an increase in profits.  Their managing partner had a little more tact and described the recession as “a painful year for everyone.”  Of course, it’s not nearly as painful if you’re one of the Fish partners.  They saw a staggering 20% increase to profits per partner.

And last, but certainly not least, Wilmer Hale…oh Wilmer Hale, you sick sons of bitches.  Wilmer Hale only posted a 7% increase in profits per partner, but the reason they’re going up on the ol’ wall of shame is lying to the press about layoffs.  In June 2009, AbovetheLaw.com reported stealth layoffs at Wilmer Hale.  Wilmer Hale denied that any layoffs had taken place, and even said none were planned or expected.  Then in July, just one month later, announced that layoffs had occurred.  And, then again in October.  What the Hale?

List of Wiki Raids:

Bingham McCutchen

Cadwalader

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost

Fish & Richardson

Latham

Morgan Lewis

Nixon Peabody

Paul, Weiss

Pillsbury

Wilmer Hale

Winstead

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