Risk Update

Conflicts Allegations — Ex-temp Calls Conflict on Judge, Power Company Campaign Contribution Complexity and Contention

Potential conflict raised for law firm in botched JEA sale” —

  • “In late 2019, a lawyer in the Jacksonville office of Foley & Lardner provided legal guidance to employees at a Florida Power & Light consulting firm who were drafting a strategy to filter campaign contributions through a series of nonprofits, an idea those consultants hoped would to obscure the origins of those donations, according to a cache of secret documents sent to the Orlando Sentinel last month and shared with the Florida Times-Union.”
  • “At the same time, Foley attorneys in that Jacksonville office were billing JEA ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees working on the controversial effort to sell the agency to a private operator. That work included helping former JEA executives craft a bonus plan that could have paid out millions of dollars in compensation if the utility had been sold to a private operator, an issue that appears to be at the heart of an ongoing federal investigation.”
  • “Former JEA executives attempted to sell the public utility through a formalized process called an “invitation to negotiate,” which is more secretive than traditional public procurement processes and requires almost every party involved to adhere to a strict ‘cone of silence’ intended to prevent conflicts of interest.”

More on the larger context of this story: “JEA’s billion-dollar bonus scheme caused rift with utility’s private lawyers.”

Ex-WilmerHale Temp Moves To DQ Judge In Employment Case” —

  • “Andrew Delaney, who worked as a Thai language document reviewer for WilmerHale through staffing agency HC2 or Hire Counsel, said in a motion to recuse Judge Liman Monday that his alleged former work as a WilmerHale partner was a conflict of interest.”
  • “Judge Liman’s relationships with two current WilmerHale partners, Jay Holtmeier and Jamie Gorelick, contributed to ‘rulings against Delaney without regard to the case law or applicable legal standards,’ and were further evidence of Judge Liman’s bias, according to that motion.”
  • “Hire Counsel sued Delaney in April, saying he was threatening to expose proprietary information about WilmerHale’s review of Toyota’s sensitive documents.”
  • “But Delaney said in his Monday filing that Judge Liman’s bias as a former WilmerHale partner resulted in the dismissal of his $20 million counterclaim against the agency for whistleblower retaliation and a number of other infractions in response to his assertion that the firm was sidestepping COVID-19 protections and regulations. Judge Liman’s bias had resulted in his dismissal of those claims, Delaney said.”