Never let it be said that Elon Musk doesn’t hold grudges. It was recently revealed that Perkins Coie entered an appearance on behalf of Musk’s personal plaything/social media network, Twitter. This was news because Musk doesn’t like Perkins Coie.
Back in December, Musk took aim at the Biglaw firm, and one of its partners Michael Sussmann. He ranted that he “isn’t using Perkins Coie” as outside counsel and urged others to join him in his boycott of the firm, saying, “No company should use them until they make amends for Sussmann’s attempt to corrupt a Presidential election.”
See, it’s acceptable free speech when *Musk* is encouraging a boycott of another business, but it somehow miraculously turns into free speech problem when others want to boycott Twitter. Got it.
Last May, Sussmann was predictably acquitted on charges he misled the FBI’s general counsel when talking to them about evidence linking the Trump Organization and a Russian-based bank, because he didn’t mention he also worked for the Clinton campaign. Of course, everyone in Washington knew Perkins Coie also represented the Clinton campaign. So, yeah, the not-guilty verdict was anything but a shock.
Perkins Coie has worked on cases on behalf of Twitter predating Musk’s ownership of the platform. But when confronted with the latest representation — on behalf of Twitter and former CEO Jack Dorsey in a case brought by a far-right activist banned from the site — Musk blamed his team, as reported by Reuters:
Musk’s email said hiring Perkins Coie was “an error on the part of a member of the Twitter team.”
“Perkins will not be representing Twitter on future cases,” he said.
It’s unclear whether Perkins Coie will continue their current representations or if Twitter will hire new counsel.
Musk has famously decimated the in-house legal team at Twitter. Maybe if he cared as much about staffing his legal department as he does about personal vendettas, these sorts of “errors” wouldn’t happen.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @Kathryn1@mastodon.social.
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