Archive for the ‘Greg Mitchell’ Category

Hunsaker, Dunn Headed for Big House?

October 4, 2006

Kevin Hunsaker, who until last week was a top HP lawyer, and Patricia Dunn, the company’s ex-chair, were both criminally charged Wednesday in connection with the pretexting scandal. Are they going to the big house?

Who knows. What we can tell you — thanks to the arrest warrants and the marvels of modern technology — is where they live, what they paid, and what their homes are now worth.

Despite her lofty title, Dunn’s residence is a relatively modest 2,100 square foot home in Orinda that’s worth $1.87 million. Built in 1952, it has 4 bedrooms and 4 baths (though they must be small, if the house is just 2,100 square feet!). The aerial view suggests Dunn also has a pool (or maybe a pond).’s “zestimate” of the house’s worth indicates it’s doubled in value since it was purchased in 2000.

Hunsaker’s home in Menlo Park is worth about $3.17 million. It’s a much roomier 3,000 square feet, with 5 beds and 4 baths. The house was purchased three years ago for $2.8 million.

— Greg Mitchell


What Color Is Baskins’ Parachute?

September 28, 2006

Ann Baskins, who quit her job as HP general counsel this morning, is holding vested options worth a little over $3.6 million, according to an 8-K HP filed today with the SEC.

Those she gets to exercise before Nov. 22. And, under the terms of the severance agreement she negotiated with HP, the company will accelerate up to $1 million of her unvested options so that she may exercise them prior to Nov. 22, when all her unvested options will otherwise expire. (more…)

Dunn Gets Sloppy

September 28, 2006


It was the obvious question, and Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican, just asked it. All along HP ex-chair Patricia Dunn has maintained that she didn’t know investigators were impersonating directors and reporters — also known as pretexting — to obtain records of their telephone calls.


So, Walden asked, “how’d you think they were getting these phone records?”


“My understanding was that these records were publicly available,” Dunn replied during her Congressional testimony (view Webcast), that “you could call up and get these records, and it was a common investigative technique.”


Walden paused a beat. “You really believed that?” he asked, drawing a smattering of laughter. “I’m sorry, but you believe I could call up whoever is your carrier and [ask for your records]?  Your home, your office, your cell?”


HP’s Dunn: I Am, Unambiguously, Not a Lawyer

September 27, 2006


[Note: Cal Law readers arriving here from today’s news alert, don’t forget to check the main blog page for our ongoing updates of HP’s congressional testimony today.]


Thursday morning the key players in the HP boardroom drama will shuffle in before a congressional subcommittee and explain … HP’s humble beginnings? You might think so, from the way CEO Mark Hurd’s prepared testimony (.pdf) begins. HP, he tells us, was founded “by two Stanford Engineering graduates who shared a belief that technology could make a contribution to people’s lives.” But that isn’t the only reason why the testimony of Patricia Dunn, the ex-chair, makes for more riveting reading.


Her lawyer, James Brosnahan, has managed to script 33 pages of testimony (.pdf) that don’t sound as though they were scripted by a lawyer. That’s by design, no doubt: Dunn’s defense here is that she’s no lawyer, and relied on General Counsel Ann Baskins and her deputy to sound any alarms that should have been sounded. “I was fully convinced that HP would never engage in anything illegal,” she plans to say, according to the supplied transcript. “Indeed, given that attorneys were unambiguously overseeing the [second] investigation … reinforced my understanding that the investigations had been and were being handled appropriately.”


Sonsini Is in the House! (Or He Will Be Soon!)

September 15, 2006

Larry Sonsini has been invited, along with Ann Baskins, Patricia Dunn and a Boston PI, to testify before Congress later this month on their various roles in the HP pretexting scandal. The invitations, issued by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, asks them to appear for sworn testimony on Sept. 28.

The letter (.pdf) to the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati partner says, in part: “Given the circumstances surrounding this particular case of pretexting involving the highest levels of corporate governance within Hewlett-Packard Company,” — that’s Dunn — “the company’s general counsel” — that’s Ann Baskins — “and the Board of Director’s outside counsel” — that, of course, would be the ever-busy Sonsini — “I ask that you carefully consider this hearing an opportunity to be fully open and transparent with the testimony you provide.”

The fourth recipient, Ronald DeLia, is the managing director of Security Outsourcing Solutions, the Needham, Mass., firm that the Wall Street Journal has identified in connection with the hacking of directors’ phone records. 

— Greg Mitchell 

So You Wanna Be a GC?

September 11, 2006

When it comes to GC jobs, there may be no riper plum than the top legal post at Apple. It’s been empty since the still-shrouded-in-mystery departure of Nancy Heinen, which the company disclosed back in May. This gig isn’t for the faint of heart. Because of backdating issues, Apple has said it will revise its financials and — whether related or not — Heinen has, since leaving, felt it necessary to hire top-shelf criminal counsel. But it’s hard to knock the pay: In the last two years alone, Heinen has cashed in Apple stock worth more than $100 million.

Looking for something a little more ivory tower? Consider the GC post at the University of California. James Holst stepped down in June after a 20-year run. The job, based at UC’s Oakland headquarters, involves managing a staff of 40 lawyers — and hiring Bill Lerach to sue Enron and its enablers

Or perhaps you’d like to head up the legal department at one of Silicon Valley’s biggest and most storied companies, Hewlett-Packard, the original started-in-a-garage sensation. There you’d oversee a staff of 300 lawyers, and be called upon to … well, we won’t go there. Of course, that job still belongs to Ann Baskins. But not, we suspect, for long. 

Greg Mitchell

Women Lawyers: The Marital Kiss of Death?

August 25, 2006

Do career women make lousy lifetime companions? Of course, argues a writer in Forbes in a piece stirring up considerable outrage. An e-mail campaign seeking a boycott of Forbes is making the rounds as we speak; this BoingBoing post rounds up the controversy and Forbes’ flip-flop handling of the article.

Michael Noer’s piece begins with this “word of advice” for guys: “Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don’t marry a woman with a career.”


Kirkland Tilts ‘Balance’ Video Off Site

August 15, 2006

It’s not exactly selling ice to eskimos. But marketing Am Law 100 firms to law students is a tricky proposition: You want to persuade top students that your firm is less of a slave ship than all the others, but no so much less that you end up with a class full of slackers who quit within the year.

We’ll call it the work/life balance beam. Because it’s pretty easy to fall off.

Take Kirkland & Ellis. When The American Lawyer put out the results of its annual associate survey this month, Kirkland & Ellis was on the mat (ranked 158th out of 175 firms in overall associate satisfaction).


What They Make at Milberg

May 18, 2006

Leaving aside the allegations of criminal conduct, today's indictment of Milberg Weiss contains something else long hidden from public view: what partners there earn.

Indicted name partner David Bershad’s share of the firm’s profits from 1983 to 2005 totalled $160.9 million, according to the government, which works out to about $7 million annually (though no doubt lower early on and far higher in recent years). Steven Schulman’s share between 1991 and 2005 totalled $67.1 million.

The government said Bershad’s equity in the firm ranged over the years from 10.11 percent to 17.72 percent. Schulman’s ranged from 1.25 percent when he became a partner in 1991 to 15 percent last year. No word on Melvyn Weiss’ share or what former partner William Lerach earned before he split from the firm in 2004.

Greg Mitchell

Another Reason Not To Take Your Work Home

January 3, 2006

The SEC filed insider trading charges Tuesday against Lee Edelman, a 34-year-old New York stockbroker it accused of trading on information he gleaned via his live-in girlfriend, an associate in the New York office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. According to the SEC, Edelman made $23,000 trading in Metron Technology ahead of the announcement in August 2004 that it was being acquired by San Jose’s Applied Materials. Edelman allegedly learned of the transaction when his girlfriend brought deal documents home to review and discuss with colleagues over the phone.

Edelman bought 12,000 shares without telling her, the SEC said. Several days later, the SEC said, the associate told Edelman she was working on the deal and he agreed he wouldn’t do anything with the information. He broke up with her several weeks later, the SEC said.

The associate wasn’t identified. Richard Millard, a partner in Weil’s Silicon Valley office who worked on the Metron acquisition, referred questions to a partner in New York who wasn’t available for comment Tuesday.
— Greg Mitchell