A Banner for Skadden Arps ??

Banners in Rafters
BobLee
August04/ 2016

Does Skadden Arps (or Bond, Schoeneck, & King) get a banner in The Rafters? …. WHO?  How many of you REALLY saw this coming? Be honest now; admittedly ridiculous in this case…. Did you really see it coming down this way?

No hemming and hawing over semantics. No pontification over “the definition of IS”. Not “the arresting officer did not quote Miranda verbatim”. Not even “….. but but everybody does it.”

UNCCH simply said “Yeah, we did IT for 18+ years. It was what it was. So what? ….. But you – NCAA –  can’t do a damn thing about it because __________.  ….. SO THERE.  Go suck an egg NCAA.”

“The glove didn’t fit…. You got to acquit.  Hahahaha.

OJ – and UNCCH – walks.  Case dismissed.  OK, not quite yet, but probably.

The obviously Guilty walk.  Is it a coincidence that Chapel Hill LOOOOVES Hillary Clinton?

In Lethal Weapon II the quite evil South African arms merchant / counterfeiter / drug dealer, whatever he was…. haughtily claimed Diplomatic Diplomatic ImmunityImmunity.  In the final scene “Riggs” puts a bullet between his eyes and the audience cheered.   That probably won’t happen in this case; but ya never know.

If you did not have an intensely partisan stake in all this, wouldn’t you say “Damn, those UNCCH’s lawyers are right. They just snokkered the big nasty souless Association.”

If this were an episode of Boston Legal or LA Law or any of a dozen other “courtroom dramas” you would be cheering this 11th hour “rabbit out of the hat” maneuver. …. But you probably DO have an intensely partisan emotional stake in this:

Those of you of the ABC persuasion are flabbergasted for lack of a better term.

Those of the Carolina Way persuasion are seeing this as some sort of reverse karma for that Villanova buzzer-beater.

Tru-Blues don’t really understand this legal sleight-of-hand but so long as no banners come down and FB and MBB go unpunished…. and all the ABCers you have to deal with are really really pissed…. Isn’t that all that matters…. Really? Especially the part about ABCers being really pissed. In the end THAT is even more important than banners and rings….

UNCCH simply went out and hired lots better lawyers than The NCAA can afford. Those very very high-priced lawyers spent countless hours considering defense options. Well actually someone WAS counting every one of those hours, and portions thereof…. and billing them at $500/per or slightly less depending on how many “associates” were in the room at any given time.Fat Cats

No. Taxpayers were NOT paying for those high-priced lawyers. Very fat Fat Cats (Rams) with Very large Egos were forking over those megabucks in a carefully laundered Save Our Precious Banners “war chest”. What price Bragging Rights?

Clients who pay $1,500/hour for legal advice are like NBA owners who give $50,000,000 contracts to the 10th man on their teams.  As outrageous as doing that may sound to “us”, in the end those gazillionaire owners are still making a profit.   Whatever Skadden Arps or Bond Schoeneck charge, UNC Fat Cats can / did pay it.

I recently paid $350/hour for legal advice.  I talked fast.  What’s “a lot” is relative.

So the dozen or so Very Fat Cats (Rams) who anted up the “whatever it costs” to pay those high-dollar lawyers could easily afford to do so. Perserving those “banners in the rafters” mattered / mattered A LOT to them. Keeping UNC FB and MBB competitive in Big Time College Sports mattered A LOT to them. Seeing their ABC acquaintances really really pissed mattered a lot to them.

In the end Lower Level Fat Cats are just as shallow in what excites them as the goobers in the nose-bleed seats.  Both google Abigail Ratchford and go WHOA!

I am saying “Skadden Arps lawyers”. That is Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom to be precise. They employ over 2,000 lawyers in multiple well-appointed offices across the country and around the world. I doubt there are still any Skaddens, Arps, Slates etc still around…. Maybe a 2nd or 3rd generation one or two. The actual attorneys who handled UNCCH’s case have remained anonymous at least to me. I assume someone over at Packpride knows their names, shoe sizes and where their kids go to private school. I don’t. …. Maybe UNCCH used another fancy law firm or several other firms. I recall Skadden Arps being mentioned 2-3 years ago so that why I use them as this example.Rick Evrard

NOTE:  Thanks to BLSays Buddy and longtime loyal BLSays reader – Jon Sasser (a/k/a “Butch’s lawyer”) – for informing us that a KC-firm – Bond, Schoeneck & King actually carried UNCCH’s water on this. Their designated Take Down The NCAA Guy – Rick Evrard specifically.  As Jon notes in his comment it doesn’t change anything except what firm’s name goes on “the banner”.  Jon assures us that Rick is “a good guy”.  We think Jon is “a good guy” so assume “it takes one to know one”.

FWIW:  Rick used to be an NCAA “goon” … that’s like an Asst DA becoming “a mob lawyer”.  In the end, his kids have straighter teeth and attend better schools.

Ken Wainstein is employed by Cadwallader Wickersham & Taft.  It is not that important to keep all these “rarified air law firms” separate unless you plan to write a book about all this some day. For sure, plenty of people WILL do just that.

If you (or a family member) were accused of something…. Whether guilty or not…. wouldn’t you want the very best legal defense you could get? If guilty, wouldn’t you want the very legal defense to minimize the penalty in prison time or $$$ you were going to be assessed for what you did? I bet you would. I certainly would.

If we can afford it wouldn’t we all seek “the best attorney” …. “best tax accountant” … “best orthodontist” …. “best _____”.  UNCCH can obviously “afford it”.

“They say” our legal system favors the wealthy who can indeed afford the best lawyers. Most of us individuals cannot afford those rarified air/hour lawyers. We hope our lawyer can beat “the DA” or whoever might be suing us or “our ex spouse or business partner” or whoever. In the movies that happens a lot where the bright young idealistic attorney goes up aainst the big, fancy law firm and pulls a rabbit out of his hat…. or does some kick-ass summation or whatever and does win. I don’t think that happens a lot in the real world. I think the “team of fancy high-priced lawyers” win more often than not.

Lawyers at big fancy high-dollar law firms who lose cases are like PGA Tour golfers who can’t make 10’ putts…. like MLB relievers who can’t throw strikes, or batters who can’t hit 95mph heat. They are not around very long. Clients do not pay $1,500/hour for “sorry Bubba, we did our best but we lost.”

The pressure to win for a $1,500/hour lawyer is every bit as intense as it is for Ol’ Roy and Nick and Calipari. Maybe not as front page but for his/her career, very much so.  The stakes were/are pretty high in UNC’s Great Unpleasantness. “Loss of banners” and penalties that would hamstring the wooing of semi-literate 17 y/os for several years were considered far too egregious to endure. What price “egos”?

What determines the hourly rate of a lawyer? I have no clue. Is a $500/hour lawyer only half as good as a $1,000/hour lawyer? Does hourly rate determine the quality of service with attorneys – accountants – automobile mechanics – surgeons ????

You know the old joke…. What do you call the guy who graduates at the bottom of his class at Harvard Medical School? The answer is “Doctor”. I’m going to guess that none of Skadden Arps’ (or Bond Schoenck) partners or junior partners or associates or paralegals graduated anywhere but very near the top at one of a half dozen most prestigious law schools.

I’m going to bet that their opponents – the legal staff at The NCAA – carry considerably less glowing credentials.

I’m going to bet the principal attorneys that are “first chair” on UNCCH’s case all make really comfortable seven-figure incomes. I’m going to bet the NCAA’s legal staff live in less opulent homes…. drive older model cars…. and belong to country clubs with much shorter waiting lists to become members.

Recruiting the best lawyers is no difference that recruiting in college basketball and football. In the end…. Talent usually wins. Maybe not always, but that’s the way to bet.  Fancy National Firms have the recruiting bling equivalent of IPFs – Indoor Practice Facilities – espresso machines in the break room and a secretarial pool that rival an NFL cheerleader squad in pulchritude.

It looks like UNCCH is going to skate whenever the penalty phase actually takes place. Women’s BB will probably be thrown under the bus but nobody cares…. Neither the Tru Blues nor the ABCers.  They agree on that.

There may be a high dollar fine but nobody cares about that either. The same bragging-rights driven Fat Cats will cover that too via various $$$ laundering techniques.

ABCers who have lived and breathed this crap for whatever 5-6-7-8 years will continue to live it and breath it and wake up each morning and type UNCheats on a Twitter thread. For them it will never be over. It is the Herpes of Scandals. They will despise all things UNCCH for all the reasons they have been bred since birth to do so…. many of which are quite justifiable reasons.

For UNCCH Tru Blues…. About the only question left now is today’s title….

Does Rick Evrard Get A Banner?

I would say YES…. but I don’t get a vote.

###

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Mike
Mike
3 years ago

Okay. You got me. Even my wife said “WHOA!” when I showed her Abigail Ratchford.

Allen W. Smothers
3 years ago

The bottom line BobLee is its the exact same thing we’ve seen throughout our lifetime the Cheaters fire a double-fisted middle finger to the NCAA (as they have every other school’s fanbase), and say, “we’ll do whatever we want, whenever we want, to whoever we want and there’s not a damn thing you’re gonna do about it!” … And we ALL know that the NCAA is going to bend over, grab the ankles and say, “Thank you Sir, may I have another!” BUT, as I’ve stated on my radio show since the Wainstein Report was released, “WE ALL KNOW WHAT… Read more »

Dr Wire
3 years ago

Being from Clinton, I recently read where David Parker, a Clinton native, son of the former Editor of The Samponian (Park newspaper) then the Sampson Independent, is retiring after a couple years stent as Interim General Counsel to unx after several years as on the GC’s staff. His name should be in the fine print on the new banner. He took a lot of heat for hiring BSK instead of hiring a fine quality NC firm in his first month in his position. In retrospect that decision followed the exit of his predecessor who you could speculate was not willing… Read more »

Mac.Columbia
Mac.Columbia
3 years ago

BL, so who is Abigail Ratchford? Will there ever be a public accounting of the legal fees for all this?

Doug
Doug
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

Ms Ratchford certainly has ample curves. Impossible for me to afford the maintenance costs. Kinda like owning a Ferrari. No doubt, an extended warranty wouldn’t be much help when gravity starts doing what gravity does either.

Bob Kennel
Bob Kennel
3 years ago

BL, I take back the compliment I paid you for your openness. The N&O actually did a series of good and thoughtful articles by 5 separate writers, none of whom were Kane or Sanders. And yes TGU is leaving a permanent stain (stink) on the University, the System, and the State.
Never said anything about the South, the US, or the planet so read more carefully, or something. I have also not introduced any political views in my response, but man, could I ever ?

Bob
Bob
3 years ago

I am wondering why UNC-CH needed so much extra time for this response. It appears that the response could have been written while eating a burger at Hardee’s. Billing hours for additional profit ? I never understood how Crowder and Dr N were given immunity, but required to speak to the NCAA , and then refused to speak with them. How long before the pr campaign that UNC-CH was unfairly treated ? Later BobLee

Mike Bawden
Mike Bawden
3 years ago

I just hope there is a Dexter Manley case in there somewhere!

Mike Bawden
Mike Bawden
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

No argument there. BUT, STATE fired chancellor and AD/basketball coach and cracked down on academics. Thus the title of the book, “they gave me a lifetime contract and then declared me dead” Valvano. The book was very candid and explained how Lowe could play four years and only have 36 credit hours. Chancellor Montieth cracked down so hard on academics it became arecruiting tool for rival schools. I point to Charles Kornegay who had to transfer to a less academically strict Villanova. It was not a surprise OBrien went off on Winters. It is still a struggle for State coaches… Read more »

Mike Bawden
Mike Bawden
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

Unfortunately UNC is right. Once an athlete gets past initial entrance, it is up to the school to deem an athlete eligible. The NCAA does not want to get into grades and curricula. Valvano knew that and Poulton went along with giving incomplete for classes they woud have failed. Professors wre off the hook. Being an engineering school, the professors woul not “give” grades. UNC does not care. As professors that have fought back were punished. If Gottfreid could accomplish what Calipari has done with “one and done” players State basketball could compete. Academics would be a moot point. Sad… Read more »

Bob Kennel
Bob Kennel
3 years ago

BL, this is what I love about your articles. To the point with some humor thrown in. Thoughtful w/o too much emotion thrown. Even the willingness to be corrected if you honor the editor. Your nemesis N&O has had half a dozen very detailed and thoughtful articles the last two days. I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around all the legal arguments and truly have no idea where the penalty phase is heading. Not confident any haymaker will be landed, but do believe the overall picture is disturbing enough that the COI may rise up strong, even with… Read more »

Doug
Doug
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob Kennel

5. “In any case an ugly mess, totally avoidable, which has messed up the social fabric of NC.”
And it’s being defended and acted out by UNC-CH leadership which leans politically towards your political view sir. In fact those in leadership positions of entire university should be ashamed but they’re not at least publicly. I wonder what Bubba really thinks of this mess deep down inside? Not quite the “depends on what your definition of “Is” is but very Clintonesque nevertheless. Machiavellian even.

wolfbuff
wolfbuff
3 years ago

I’ll admit up front to being an ABCer. All the way. But I’m not really pissed as most are. I saw this handwriting on the wall a long time ago. UNCheat has been mooning the rest of us from the outset of this whole thing, deploying various obfuscation techniques. We all knew in some way how this was going to go down. So who cares if they get away with it, sacrifice a few people along the way, don’t get punished and wave their wankers at everyone in the process? The NCAA probably cares because this case calls into question… Read more »

Allen W. Smothers
3 years ago
Reply to  wolfbuff

Ditto & DITTO… I’m not mad about this either. We knew from the very beginning how this was all going to play out, because we’ve lived it for the past 50+ years! BUT, the punishment will be that EVERYONE will refer to them as Cheaters until the end of time!!! The adorring media won’t, but everyime someone talks about any of their athletic programs, refer to them as “The Cheaters,” everyone in the world will know exactly who you’re talking about.

Chris
Chris
3 years ago

BL, is it your opinion that the NCAA is trying to keep the gladiators out of the college stadium or that they are profiting by it? Or both?

NCSU68Grad
NCSU68Grad
3 years ago

BL, NOT to question your impeccable (or hen pecked if appropriate) sources, BUT….. Typically mega Dollars (OK, not in the Trillions like Obummer’s debts) for all the aforementioned Legal Costs, et. al. have come from a NON-State Funded Source. It is the “Excess” earnings that are a “petty cash drawer” . The UNC Fund (google it and you will find info about it) IS very well managed. It DOES have good earnings and a good track record. WHEN it was established, the Grand Pooh Bah’s of Sleight of Hand KNEW that there would be a time when “Cash” was needed… Read more »

NCSU68Grad
NCSU68Grad
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

Touche….it was a bit wordy…. BUT, the basic question…..is the “Excess Earnings Fund”, which was used for the EARLY stuff, also used for the NCAA response? In this case, all the $$’s that Bubba and Company paid for the “Defense” would be, I think, a LEGITIMATE AD expense. You have Compliance folks and such and you HAVE to defend yourself when you make an honest mistake. The earlier investigations and all the PR Firm work was “extraordinary” and UNC made a GREAT NOISE to make sure that NO TAXPAYER or UNIVERSITY FUNDS were used….for such. SO, did the Ram’s club,… Read more »

NCSU68Grad
NCSU68Grad
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

SInce you have well and highly reliable sources, then that IS surprising. Heretofore, the Petty Cash of the “non-designated” (unmarked bills?) Earnings of the UNC fund have been raided. Wonder WHY they changed the strategy….unless the funds were getting low….and based on the amount of $$, that the UNC fund “earns”, that would be unnerving. Wonder if there was a “rift” at the higher levels about constantly spending that money, which Carol and others can request/approve? Wonder if they did not have a clear focus and the Ram’s Club decided to take the point and come up with the lawyers… Read more »

JD
JD
3 years ago

Everyone hates the NCAA so why not stick it to them if they can? I just want the thing settled. 2017 at the earliest we get a decision. Good grief.

Doug
Doug
3 years ago

My latest unsolicited, unsupported, unqualified and naive assessment of the TGU. Translation” UNC to the NCAA. “Go ahead, we double d dare you to do something stoopid like trying to nuke us with punishing sanctions.” NCAA says,” Umm, can we talk or negotiate?” UNC, “Maybe, but if we don’t like what you’re proposing or don’t agree with you, we will see you in court. Subpoena every paper record, every piece of evidence, e-mails, video, telephone logs, computer logs, notes, bar and meal tabs, expense accounts, employee background info, minutes of EVERY meeting you’ve EVER had for EVERY investigation in the… Read more »

Jon.Sasser
Jon.Sasser
3 years ago

Hate to tell you, as it may make your head explode. You’re way, way off. First, I think Rick Evrard and his firm of Bond, Schoenck & King in Kansas City wrote the UNC response. I have not read the response yet, but that is what the cover says. They are probably the best lawyers in the country for dealing with the NCAA. http://www.bsk.com/people/richard-j-evrard/collegiate-sports Rick’s also a hell of a nice guy. . The $500 number is what a junior associate at Skadden would charge. A partner may be THREE TIMES THAT. . I hear that top-notch lawyers in NC… Read more »

DrVinnyboombatz
DrVinnyboombatz
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

If I was an NCAA attorney, I would tell UNC to go right ahead and sue my employer. I would bet that the last thing UNC fat cats would desire is the opportunity of MORE DISCOVERY provided by witnesses under oath. I would happily pay to see Julius, Jan and Deborah on a witness stand. It would be quite a show. Maybe a second episode would cast John Blake, Wayne Walden and Butch Davis. Good ole Holden Thorp would also be fun to hear. Jennifer Wiley, Marvin Austin, Gregg Little, Jack Evans, Lissa Broome, Karen Moon,and of course Roy would… Read more »

DrVinnyboombatz
DrVinnyboombatz
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know how I missed both Dickie B and Swoffraud. I guess I’ll blame it on old age. I also greatly appreciate your coverage of TGU and your objectiveness in doing it. You are one of the few UNC alums that will admit to anything short of perfection exists on that campus in Orange County.

DrVinnyboombatz
DrVinnyboombatz
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

You HAVE been impartial. I’ve seen you trash ABCers as well. I think you have hit each group when they have deserved your disapproval.

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