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Slot a bit of time for Wikipedia as a topic at the next partner retreat. The collaborative encyclopedia, where information stays or goes based on general consensus, is no longer anonymously updated. Thank WikiScanner. The Web site lets one monitor the source of changes to Wikipedia entries. A quick scan of the scanner reveals that many alterations to the Wikipedia pages of Washington law firms are being made from computers within the firms. Some are humorous, like the Ropes & Gray editor who described the firm’s summer associate program as a litany of “baseball games, theater, and epic parties in Boston to begin and end a summer of ecstacy [sic].” But on Covington & Burling’s Wikipedia page, several entries have been edited or deleted altogether, most notably info about the firm’s lobbying on behalf of Halliburton. The WikiScanner shows that someone at a computer with an IP address (most computers at a business share a single IP address) in Covington’s Washington office cut passages listing how much Halliburton paid the firm to lobby Congress. Also deleted were the names of some lobbyists. But since that edit was made last October, the Halliburton passage has mysteriously returned. “I’ve been here 25 years, and now I learn from Wikipedia that Covington is connected to Skull & Bones and the Illuminati,” jokes partner Mitchell Dolin. “That must explain why I’m not invited to all of the partnership meetings.”
Nathan Carlile can be contacted at [email protected].

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