First, Smear All the Lawyers

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First, Smear All the Lawyers


In “Servants of the Damned,” his purported exposé of the evils of “big law,” David Enrich gets one thing right—Jones Day is a global law firm with 2,400 lawyers and 42 offices across five continents and a 130-year history of zealously representing clients. Other than that, his portrait of Jones Day and the legal profession bears little resemblance to reality. Indeed, Mr. Enrich’s insistence that some clients of Jones Day—whom he calls the “damned”—shouldn’t be able to secure competent legal representation is utterly at odds with our common-law tradition. According to that tradition, truth and justice are secured through a vigorously contested adversarial system, in which all litigants have lawyers who represent them.

Mr. Enrich’s thesis that Jones Day is a “right wing” institution mischaracterizes the firm. As many Jones Day lawyers told him, the firm represents clients, not causes; it has no political agenda. Jones Day lawyers span the political spectrum, supporting Democratic and Republican candidates alike. (I am a Democrat.) While the vast majority of Jones Day’s work has nothing to do with government or politics, the firm does represent clients who seek to challenge regulations. It defends clients from lawsuits, investigations and prosecutions, and sometimes represents clients who run for public office.

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