February 24, 2011 6:05 PM
Hacked E-mail Release Spurs Ethics Complaint Against Hunton Partners
Posted by Claire Zillman
Stop the Chamber, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce critic, filed an ethics complaint on Wednesday with the D.C. Bar against Robert Quackenboss, John Woods, and Richard Wyatt, Jr., of Hunton & Williams.
The complaint follows the release of thousands of e-mails that suggested the three partners participated in an effort to undercut liberal activists, reports sibling publication the Blog of the Legal Times.
The complaint accuses the three lawyers of violating Rule 8.4 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct--which prohibits conduct involving "dishonest, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation"--by collaborating with a trio of security companies on a plan to gather information on and undermine chamber critics, including Stop the Chamber.
The e-mails show employees of the security companies--—HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies, and Berico Technologies--discussing covert ways to "discredit" U.S. Chamber Watch, including the creation of a forged document and "fake insider personas," reports the BLT.
The e-mails cited in the complaint were among more than 71,000 e-mails from HBGary that pro-Wikileak hackers publicly released after breaking into the e-mail accounts of company executives.
Some of those e-mails indicate that Hunton was in contact with HBGary about pitching services aimed at protecting against Wikileaks attacks on such firm clients as Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce.
Hunton, which has previously declined to comment on the e-mails, did not return the BLTs requests for comment. D.C. Bar counsel Wallace Shipp, Jr., declined to comment, citing bar confidentiality rules.Make a comment