Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Robert Bennett knows a thing or two about handling a client whose name has been tarnished by allegations of sexual misconduct. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that a group calling itself the Committee for Fairness to Duke Families hired Bill Clinton’s former lawyer for help in the racially charged scandal that’s enveloped the university’s lacrosse team. Though it remains unclear how Bennett became involved in the case, at least two of the Duke players have strong ties to the D.C. legal community: Their fathers are partners at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Reed Smith. The team’s image has been hammered since Durham, N.C., police opened an investigation into allegations that three men at a lacrosse-team party raped a black woman who had been hired as an exotic dancer. Though Bennett reportedly won’t be directly representing any of the individual players in the criminal investigation, it’s likely he’ll be providing behind-the-scenes guidance for a team that’s already seen its season canceled by the university. “From a standpoint of being able to discern and discuss strategy, you’d want somebody like Bob,” says E. Lawrence Barcella Jr., a partner at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. Bennett, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, didn’t return repeated phone calls seeking comment on his new client. Though Bennett is admired as a tenacious litigator, the entry of a $700-an-hour lawyer is unlikely to dispel the view of the team as an elitist clique of prep-school kids. “Rich persons are able to hire whoever they’re able to hire,” says Bishop John Bennett, a pastor at the mainly black Church of the Apostolic Revival in Durham who has helped rally support for the alleged victim.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.