It had been a long day for Jeffrey Davidson. It was already past 5 p.m. on March 22, 2005, and the Kirkland & Ellis partner had spent hours questioning potential jurors. His client, Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc., was about to go on trial in state court in West Palm Beach, Fla., charged with defrauding billionaire Ronald Perelman. Perelman wanted $2.7 billion for being stuck with a bunch of worthless securities in Sunbeam Corp., the residue of a deal that Morgan Stanley had concocted. As the long day in court drew to a close, Davidson was surprised when his co-counsel from a local Florida firm stepped forward and handed the lawyers and the judge a three-page document. Davidson had not seen it before. It had been prepared in such haste that it was missing its attachments.
Davidson was stunned by what he read. Asserting that the trial judge had “lost all confidence in any statement” made by Kirkland, Morgan Stanley was firing the firm as lead counsel. Davidson kept reading, and it got worse. His client was also putting Kirkland on notice of a potential malpractice claim.
This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.
To view this content, please continue to their sites.
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]