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Join Date: May 2007
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Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/19/2008 5:31 PM

As energy prices increased over the past year, there has been far too much hyperbole concerning the commercial short-term promise of solar, wind, biomass and other alternative energy production systems. Yes, we MUST invest in these technologies for every reason imaginable. But, there is still much R&D work to be done and it is best done in a reasonably unfettered environment. The financial gurus have already created unrealistic expectations for the fuel cell industry in the past, for photovoltaics more recently and now we have large law firms building "dream teams". Isn't that the last thing we need? Aren't they putting the cart before the horse?

Here is a press release from Reed Smith LLP. You may read the press release in its entirety here. The last line I have presented here is the best. I gather the lawyers have developed the products that work and I can't wait for their patents to issue!

Read on:

Addition of Ellen Bastier & 13-Member Team Generates Bicoastal Power

(Nov. 12, 2008, San Francisco) – Reed Smith LLP, one of the 15 largest law firms in the world, experienced a power surge today, with the addition of a 14-member group from Thelen, headed by renewable energy law pioneer Ellen L. Bastier.

New partners Bastier, Edward G. Rogan, Paul C. Lacourciere, Donald G. Ousterhout and David V. Biesemeyer; new counsel James Lee; and five new associates join Reed Smith's San Francisco office. New partners Robert M. Vilter and Eli R. Mattioli join the firm's New York office, and Elizabeth Quirk joins as counsel in the firm's Princeton office.

"This expansion provides critical mass to Reed Smith's renewable energy practice, which has had deep bench strength in Chicago, Princeton and Los Angeles for more than a decade," said Eugene Tillman, Reed Smith's Global Head of Legal Personnel. "Ellen and her colleagues are a top-notch team that bring us a wealth of experience in this field, with an emphasis on achievable alternative energy solutions."

Go Get 'Em, Dream Team!

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#1

Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/19/2008 6:09 PM

I don't know about this firm (obviously, I've heard of them) and don't know specifically what role they expect to play in renewable energy development. But I do know lawyers are necessary (some would say a necessary evil) in business development.

Here in western PA, if you want to strip a vein of coal, or drill a gas field, there are a couple of law firms that can provide the permitting and financing expertise you would need to do this. Some will even put up a sizable stake in return for a cut.

Folks can make a good case, I think, that there are too many lawyers involved in this sort of activity, but they run the legistlative process. So, if you play stick-ball in Queens, you gotta use Queens rules.

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#2
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Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 2:54 AM

Hello TV45,

...they run the [legislative] process...

I think that is a big part of the problem, it is not We The People anymore. I've even heard that the laws state that it is suppose to be understandable to the common man. So why does it take special dictionaries to decipher?

Brad

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#3
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Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 8:44 AM

good observation UV

Ask them what they produce................the answer.

money.

I've even heard that the laws state that it is suppose to be understandable to the common man. So why does it take special dictionaries to decipher?

Whats latin for lame?

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#9
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Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 1:16 PM

Hello phoenix911,

Claudia is Latin for lame. If Americans took the time to manage their own finances and legal matters we would have no Claudia bankers, attorneys and politicians.

Brad

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#10
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Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 1:58 PM

but unemployment would sky rocket with all the unemployed Claudia bankers, attorneys and politicians, because they have no skills set of value.

The economy would boom though, and the world would leave them behind unnoticed.

phoenix911

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#4

Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 9:35 AM

If you scratch the surface of the current financial crisis, energy crisis, health care crisis, (insert your favorite crisis here) you will find the root cause is nothing more than greedy lawyers. The world would be far better off if we simply closed all law schools, rounded up all lawyers and banished them to Atlantis.

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#8
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Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 11:55 AM

You may be right, but WOULD Atlantis take them?

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#11
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Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 2:00 PM

who said that Atlantis may have banished them here.

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#5

Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 9:52 AM

I'll go on a short rant. Several times I have read things or had conversations with lawyers that leave me with the impression they believe they are in control....of everything. The sad fact is I believe many of them are arrogant buffoons that actually are in control, because they continue to craft commercial and legal systems where they put themselves as the gatekeepers. This allows them to charge exorbitant prices but worse, if they cause much legal wrangling the commercial legal system gets fed with money that should be used for production of goods or food on the table or something elce PRODUCTIVE.

I wish technical knowledge was given the place it deserves and 90% of the lawyers were given the place they deserve. Something useful like scrubbing toilets.

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#6

Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 11:33 AM

One of the functions of law school is to train lawyers to fight.

One of the skills demanded is to be able to debate either side of any one issue successfully.

One's conscience is not allowed to be an issue. Whether you believe the guy is crook or murderer is not an issue. If you take on the case you are expected to fight as hard as needed to defend your client.

This contradictory doubleness of thought exists only in attorney's. No where else.

Let an engineer exhibit such sophist reasoning in the design of a bridge truss or the carry-thru spar on an airliner, and those same attorney's will fight one another for the privilege of castrating him through his wallet when his design fails!

The most recent example of this duplicity was by Joe Biden who during the Primaries was heard to say repeatedly that Barack Obama ". . . . simply isn't ready to be President". His dramatic switch to contradictory statements defending Obama is exactly the kind of behavior attorney's excel at.

The forgoing is not meant to be an evaluation of our next President or Mr. Biden. It does however, point to the behavior of lawyers, who, having been elected to public office, look for opportunities to argue and fight with the opposition. The result is the grid lock we have all witnessed in Congress which was, last time I checked, populated by attorney's by a factor of about 80%!

Health care is the next biggest preoccupation, after the economy, whose catastrophic collapse was catalyzed by House member Barney Frank insisting that Fannie Mae & Freddy Mac were fine and who forced banks to start lending to people with no visible source of income.

On the health care front, is the simple fact that amongst the biggest factors in the exaggerated costs of obtaining medical coverage is the influence of liability insurance paid by everyone from pharmaceutical companies right down to the local pediatrician. Those fees are the direct result of trial lawyers like former presidential candidate John Edwards who went after everyone but the dog catcher, got absurdly gross awards for their clients and walked off with one third of it.

Some here have already posted similar views about the legal profession which is a shame because, while those statements are valid, there are good lawyers out here.

Lest the irony of our judicial system be lost on you, let me alert you to a well kept secret:

While you must be an attorney, a sanctioned officer of the Federal Court, to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court, you need not be an attorney to be appointed to the Supreme Court!.

In today's political climate, with layers dominating the Senate and the Judiciary Committee, no president in his right mind would attempt such a thing as offering an appointee who is not a lawyer.

Still. the thought of Joe the Plumber, in a black robe, with a Stillson wrench in his belt is grin worth having.

Shakespeare said some nasty words about attorneys. Nothing has changed !

Until we stop sending them to Congress and the White House, the Future will look the same as the Present does now.

Next Presidential race, I am voting for Lee Iacocca!

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#7

Re: Paul Revere Rides Again: The Lawyers Have Landed, The Lawyers Have Landed!!!

11/21/2008 11:40 AM

I am a professional engineer and worked for a number of years as a project manager developing power plants in Mexico from the very start to the very end of projects. What most people don't understand is the very complexity of the law and financing risks on these projects. Drafting the power purchase agreements from the generator to the customer, construction agreements with contractors, and the financing and bond arrangements needed to get large projects built is a huge undertaking.

In getting financing worth $225 million US, my experience was that all of the lawyers I had to deal with were some of the most knowledgeable, competent and professional persons I have ever encountered. Most of the lawyers also had engineering degrees, which made their understanding of the technical and legal risks of our projects unsurpassed.

What I did learn was that ALL of the financing MBA types from numerous banks involved in the bond sale were indeed pompous and arrogant fools. The tragedy we face in our society is that all of the capital needed for development of such complex projects are locked in the hands such fools. It was the most frustrating months of my career trying to explain simple physics (how gas turbines work) and mathematics (on the time value of money) to these people. Worse, having to put up with the arrogance and seeing how unaware they are of how unaware they are.

In short, a good lawyer on your side is a blessing. An MBA only can lead you from credit crises to credit crises.

Cheers,

Steamer Stan

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