Ronald Green was the lawyer who defended Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly when Ms. Mackris, a former producer of his talk show accused him of sexual harassment. In the end, Bill O'Reilly ended up settling. "The New York Daily News, citing unidentified sources, reported that O'Reilly had agreed to pay Mackris anywhere from $2 million to $10 million. Separately, the New York Post said it was believed that O'Reilly paid "multimillions of dollars" to settle the suit."
Mr. Green has made his reputation as one of the most aggressive employment defense lawyers in the country, and in the case of Bill O'Reilly, Ron Green didn't go away until he "had filed a lawsuit accusing Mackris and her lawyer of trying to extort $60 million in "hush money" to make the case quietly go away." But in the end, Ron Green's client apparently ended up paying the bill.
I have to admit that I was slightly flattered that Pfizer would hire such a legendary legal warrior to oppose me, and I was also curious to learn if Mr. Green was as good as his reputation gives him credit for, of if there'd simply be a lot of huffing and puffing.
I just found out the answer to some of these questions, because now Ron Green is coming after me.
Yesterday Mr. Green wrote a letter to the Court, requesting that they enforce a proposed "Protective Order" which would result in me paying a $10,000 fine if I violated this order. I have already written two blogs, Super Secret Secrets and $10,000 Fine If I Talk about this. If the Court approves the Protective Order, it would also result in me not having access to "highly confidential" documents in my own litigation.
But there's more; Mr. Green is also telling the court that I have contacted "one of the individually-named defendants, apparently in an attempt to sow dissension between the defendants."
That sounds like an interesting intrigue. So what's going on here?
That defendant is Pfizer Vice President Karen Katen and I was in touch with her a week ago. Normally, if someone doesn't want to be contacted, they just say so. But that isn't enough for Mr. Green so this super lawyer has now told the court, "We would request that the Court enjoin him from this harassment, under penalty of appropriate strong sanctions."
Harassment? An e-mail? What is Ron Green so afraid of? Why can't he act like a normal person and simply ask? Or is this just a lot of huffing and puffing by a highly paid lawyer with nothing better to do?
The really interesting part in Ron Green's letter to the Court is what is not in it. He has lots of exhibits, but he doesn't have a single exhibit that includes what I sent to Ms. Katen. Not the e-mail, nor the documents I sent to her.
And since I know that Ron Green is such a famous lawyer, I know nothing happens by accident with this guy. There could be only two reasons for this omission. Either Ms. Katen didn't send Mr. Green what I sent her. Or Ron Green doesn't want to show the Court what I sent to Ms. Katen. If he did, he would have attached my correspondence. But he didn't.
And of course you're wondering why I wrote to Ms. Katen. The answer is simple; both she and I would have no access to "highly confidential" documents under the proposed protective order, which I didn't like and couldn't imagine she would like. The only defendant with access would be Mr. Kindler, who happens to be Pfizer's General Counsel and Katen's competitor for the Pfizer CEO job. And I didn't think anyone had told Ms. Katen about this protective order. Nor did I think Mr. Kindler had showed her some important documents related to Ms. Katen. Not that I have any idea what he might have shown her or not. But since I suspected there might be a conflict of interest between Mr. Kindler, Epstein, Becker & Green, and Ms. Katen, I simply sent her the protective order and a few documents I didn't think Mr. Kindler had shown her.
And that is what made Ron Green fly off his handle and ask the Court to enjoin me from this harassment, under penalty of appropriate strong sanctions. I can only guess that Mr. Kindler and Mr. Green, really, really, didn't want Ms. Katen to see the protective order, or those other documents, and, based on this request, they're scared witless that I might somehow send more documents to Ms. Katen. What else could make Mr. Green make such a request to the Curt?
It's not like I've been in the habit of writing unsolicited love letters to Ms. Katen. And it's not like I have this irresistible urge to stay in touch with Ms. Katen. My only remaining question is this--does Ms. Katen even know that Mr. Green is trying to stop me from contacting her?
I don't think so. But not that I know for sure. Here's what's going on:
You see, according to Eriq Gardner, Corporate Counsel for Pfizer, "Kindler has his own reasons for wanting to make a splash. In February he was promoted to vice-chairman of Pfizer, and joined two other senior executives on a newly formed Pfizer executive committee. Company watchers say that Kindler and his fellow vice-chairmen, Karen Katen and David Shedlarz, are in a runoff to succeed outgoing CEO Henry McKinnell Jr."
And Fortune writes the following: "Katen and Shedlarz appear to be working nicely together . . . But insiders claim their succession battle is creating factions, and distracting the company from its larger goals -- namely: becoming a growth company again." There are David people and there are Karen people," says one insider of the two leading candidates. "And they're all pulling in different directions, trying to make their guy look good." So far the handicapping goes like this: Katen was seen as the early favorite, but she's fading fast. Kindler was always the dark horse."
Fortune didn't write that "Kindler and Katen are working well together." And when the prize is a CEO job worth $83 million in retirement benefits alone, not counting an annuals salary of $10-$20 million, it is perfectly reasonable to suspect that Mr. Kindler may work hard on becoming the next CEO (not that I have any idea if he really does). And, perhaps his interests and Ms. Katen's interests in this lawsuit are not the same, especially considering that Mr. Kindler through his law firm has attempted to assure himself an advantage compared to all other parties.
But there's more in Ron Green's Amazing Letter to the Court.
Among other things, he is really unhappy that I'm blogging about all this on the Huffington Post. I'm not a lawyer, and I don't really know the law like Ron Green, few lawyer know the law the way he does, so I can only conclude that if Ron Green is unhappy I must be doing something right, since he is opposing counsel. I mean if he was cheering, it would be time for me to change.
Anyway, he writes, "In brief, we request the entry of a strong, enforceable protective order because Plaintiff has demonstrated that he cannot be trusted with confidential information and that, given an opportunity to do so, he will publicize any information - even privileged information - with which he is entrusted for his own aggrandizement and self-promotion."
Mr. Green goes on to claim that I have a history of doing just that and several ready avenues to my disposal, such as my blog on the Huffington Post and my personal website.
So what does Mr. Green offer as proof that I can't be trusted? I mean, he must have lots of proof after making all these claims, right?
Turns out I can't find a single reference to this memo in the BrandWeek story. But there is a comment in BusinessWeek.
The story, however, is a bit different than the one Mr. Green tries to serve to the court.
The following is an excerpt from an e-mail I sent to BrandWeek on March 4, a day after I found out that BusinessWeek had not adhered to my request to destroy and not use the Morgan Lewis memo, which they had received by mistake:
"Also, BusinessWeek is not playing nice, the way you've done this. I had been careful to exclude any material Pfizer could claim was privileged, but oine memo eluded me. There must've been a second copy of the Morgan Lewis memo which I didn't realize when I pulled the first one. When I learned about this I wrote to BusinessWeek and told them they couldn't use that particular document. Yesterday evening they told me they had talked to their lawyers and they WOULD use it and it would be a central piece of the story."
So I did what I could to stop the memo from getting out, I managed to persuade BrandWeek not to use it, and Ron Green's only "proof" that I couldn't be trusted just blew up in his face.
That leaves his concerns about my blog. He wrote that "This week, plaintiff took to blogging about the proposed protective order that we sent to his attorney for comment, misrepresenting its terms, effect and purpose."
You'd expect that after these big accusations by this famous lawyer, he'd give some actual details about what I misrepresented. But he can't give a single example. Instead, he misrepresents my blogs, Super Secret Secrets and $10,000 Fine If I Talk, by attaching them without attaching my IMPORTANT LEGAL DISCLAIMER.
Among other things the disclaimer says, just in case I make a mistake while bloggging:
"If you are a lawyer and read this you can never use this blog in a court of law, since it does not always contain a full statement of facts, or even facts, but you can use it to entertain your fellow lawyers. And if you are an entertainment lawyer, feel free to call me because I need a gig or a speaking engagement."
"You can expect to encounter generalizations, simplifications, hypothecations, exaggerations, inflations, fabrications, but mostly a lot of truths no one ever had the guts to tell you before. (The last part I wrote, my lawyer made me put in those other words.)"
"These are my opinions only, and most statements have been carefully researched, but that doesn't mean you will receive a fair and balanced picture of any issue. If you did, this blog would turn into a boring legal paper."
But Ron Green doesn't want the Court to see the disclaimer, so he leaves it out.
"When reality doesn't fit, hit the delete button."
Is that really good lawyering or is it simply huffing and puffing?
But perhaps we should all feel really, really sorry about Ron Green and Pfizer and the fact that I keep writing about what is happening? I mean, let's forget about free speech. And let's forget about the fact that this case has a general public interest and involves the biggest pharma company in the world. And let's forget about the fact that Pfizer is this big $50 giant corporation, let's pretend they're just a mammoth baby which simply can't defend itself against this tiny little blog. Right?
And most of all, let's forget that I'm simply responding to Pfizer's attempt to use their vast public relations resources to embarrass, and financially ruin me by making me unemployable. I have responded with the poor man's only option--I started blogging.
And because of my tiny blog, Pfizer and Ron Green are now crying crocodile tears, running off to the judge as if he was their mama.
The facts in this case are quite simple, and more than justifies my blog, in which you read the latest news:
I filed my qui tam complaint against Pfizer in June 2003. During the entire time period this complaint was sealed, I strictly adhered to the confidentiality order of that case. The complaint against Pfizer was unsealed on November 10, 2005 and I made no effort to start talking about all the stuff I had discovered within Pharmacia and Pfizer, because I figured those things belonged in a court room.
That's not what Pfizer thought. They fired me on December 1, 2005 and at the same time they blanketed the press with 89 pages of detailed information about my qui tam complaint, the reasons Pfizer thought this was such a stupid complaint, and they also included letters from my attorney to Pfizer, which they misrepresented. In fact, Pfizer's PR department contacted every major news outlet, including "60 Minutes," the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Star-Ledger, Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg News, and BrandWeek about the fact that they'd fired me and how bad my qui tam complaint was. And shortly after my termination a front organization for Pfizer, the American Council of Science and Health, which had taken money from Pfizer named me "Whiny Whistleblower of the Year."
And now Ron Green and Pfizer are crying because of what I write in my blog and begging a judge for "help"???
Celebrity Lawyer Ron Green and Pfizer, here's a book for you guys:
A lot of huffing and puffing for nothing.
Link to my daily blog with more information and more posts.
IMPORTANT LEGAL DISCLAIMER HERE