Friday, December 19, 2008

Bernie Madoff and Charles Ponzi - Representative Clients

We certainly were taken aback by recent events surrounding Bernie Madoff. Bernie is one of our best clients. We've been taking care of him, and his investment funds, for years.

Frankly, we are shocked by all that's happened. With our guidance, Bernie Madoff has been pursuing a well-established investment strategy with a long history. When he got started he asked us for our advice, and we reached back into the vault to the old days when we represented Charles Ponzi.

Just like in the good old days, it all was going great. Unfortunately, when the markets turned south, the investment strategy failed. It happens with all kinds of investment strategies, and this one is no different. Bernie is catching way too much heat for doing what many others have done. He just did it bigger and better. And when it failed, it failed bigger and better.

But just like with Charles Ponzi, Bernie Madoff did some things right. He got his money first, and he made sure his lawyers got paid. So we're all set. The people who are complaining ... well, there's one simple explanation. They're losers, and losers whine.

Get over it. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get going. Maybe we can help. Give us a call.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Marc Dreier Lets Us Down

I suppose we should feel bad for Marc Dreier. He's the founder and head honcho at Dreier LLP, just up the road from us. And he just got popped for some kind of serious criminal misconduct. Something about dressing up as a union lawyer or a drag queen (who can tell the difference anyway).

But we don't feel bad for him. He had it coming. So do we of course. But we've been getting away with plenty of crap Dreier hasn't even thought of, and we'll keep getting away with it.

Just look at his firm website for an example of what they do wrong. Here are some quotes from their "overview" page:

Dreier LLP is a unique group of talented lawyers and remarkable people who have joined in a professional enterprise vigorously dedicated to advancing our clients' objectives.

Stop lying dammit! We're in this for ourselves. Sure some clients think we're helping them, but most are savvy enough to know we're just using them to steal someone else's money. As long as they get a bit along the way, they're happy.

We are not just an association of attorneys but a collaboration of attorneys, who typically had built successful practices elsewhere but sought in Dreier LLP a more current, more resourceful, more supportive environment to maximize their abilities and results.

What kind of nonsense is that? Association? Collaboration? We're all part of one big conspiracy really.

We look for and give our clients every opportunity and advantage to meet their goals. We look to foster their success and share in their success. We believe we are our clients' most important allies.

They just keep getting it backwards. We foster our own success and if a little bit trickles down to the clients, they're lucky they get something. And we're not their allies. They need us and that's all there is to it. If they could get by without us they'd drop us in a heartbeat.

We are a law firm that is relevant to whatever our clients are doing or hoping for.

That's not bad. Maybe it's good marketing or something.

But Marc Dreier showed everyone what it's really all about. Good lawyers get in position to steal hundreds of millions of dollars. His problem is he's only a good lawyer. Great lawyers get away with it. Welcome to Dewey Cheatham & Howe.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Criminal Defense: The Delay Strategy

In our criminal defense practice, we employ a variety of strategies to help our clients evade responsibility for their actions. One of our favorites is the Delay Strategy.

For starters this has nothing to former congressman Tom DeLay. While we have in fact managed to substantially delay the charges against him in Texas about violating campaign finance laws, we've been playing this game since long before our Tommy-boy was even born.

The Delay Strategy is simple, even elegant. We do everything we can to make the case take as long as possible. The longer it takes the more chances there are that the cops or witnesses involved will die, disappear, retire, move away, etc. We don't go out of our way to make these things happen, but it's just a matter of time. Of course there are cases where our clients can afford those kinds of services in addition to our regular legal work, but usually we just hope the delay does it on its own.

The numbers behind this approach are pretty compelling. You figure that most cops retire after 20 years. So right there about 5% of cops will retire if your case hangs around for just one year. A whole variety of things can also happen. They can die, change jobs, get arrested, and so on. So if there's just one cop involved in your case, and you can stall for a couple years, you're already at about a 20% chance of a big problem for the prosecution.

Now take the cases where there are two or three cops and maybe one or two other witnesses. If you can stall that one for a few years you might get to a 50% chance of winning on that alone.

Combining the Delay Strategy with all of the other options in our arsenal, you can see how Dewey Cheatham & Howe can dramatically increase the chances of you beating the rap. And with our hourly billing approach, the longer it takes, the more money we make too. So everyone wins.

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