Tuesday, March 14, 2006

106 entries in my ESPN NCAA group so far. See the previous post for the group name and password. I wrote yesterday that I was sure no one playing college basketball ever becomes a powerful corporate attorney. Two readers e-mailed to tell me I'm wrong. Well, maybe. No one's perfect.

One reader wrote, "Jay Bilas, practicing attorney at a corporate law firm in Charlotte, as well as popular ESPN college basketball analyst, was the starting Duke center in 1986 when Duke lost to Louisville in the NCAA Championship game!" Well, that one's easy to dispute. Charlotte. Second-tier city. Third-tier city, even. Doesn't count as a "powerful corporate attorney." Even the e-mail admits it. "Practicing" attorney. Practicing. Practicing for the big leagues. Charlotte. Ooh, I'm scared. And he lost the basketball game anyway.

The other reader wrote, "For what it is worth, Aaron Dyer is a partner at Pillsbury in LA and played basketball at USC. Second string, I believe. But still." I can't really dispute this one. Second string at USC is still pretty impressive, and he works at a real firm in a real city. And it turns out we're neighbors of sorts, actually. So I admit it. I'm wrong. Aaron Dyer is the exception that proves the rule. Besides, he defended the producer of the “Girls Gone Wild” videos, in a criminal racketeering prosecution. That takes... something. He's also defended a former executive of Enron in a federal criminal prosecution. This is what's on his web site biography. Good for his firm for leaving that up there, even with Enron's recent troubles. After all, if I'm a company looking for representation, and I've done something awful, I'm not sure it's a bad thing to choose lawyers that work with people who've done things even worse.

This is why I'm not a litigator. I want the things I do to be opaque and incomprehensible to people. I don't want to be caught in the position of having to defend my job to strangers at cocktail parties. I just want to bore them. I talk about the recruiting process. That engages people. I don't talk about clients. I don't talk about the firm's environmental practice. I leave the defending to the litigators. I don't have to justify what we do. It pays the bills.

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