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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

BAD COMPANY? - As Jones Day and Porter Wright wrestle with a PR nightmare and apparent internal strife over their representation of the GOP and President Donald Trump in post-election litigation, the whole mess begs a bigger question: are controversial clients bad for business? Now, after posing that query to a number of experts, we can definitively say: it depends on who you ask. “Lawyers are hired to deal with controversial issues every day. If they sat in judgment, most would be out of work altogether,” California-based legal recruiter Larry Watanabe told Dylan Jackson when asked whether divisive clients and cases could turn off top talent. But legal consultant and former MoFo chair Keith Wetmore had a different take: “For younger talent, the opportunities may be more plentiful, and their considerations may be more emotional than mercantile,” he told Jackson and Dan Roe. And what about the possibility of alienating other clients? Goldberg Segalla communications consultant Aidan Ryan said that’s a real risk considering how image-conscious companies can be. But Wetmore was more dismissive in that regard, recalling his former firm’s previous representation of so-called “American Taliban” man John Walker Lindh. “We were in Newsweek every week in 2002,” he said. “Now, almost nobody remembers, and the people who remember don’t care.”

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