Friday, October 13, 2006

How Hewlett-Packard pretexting impacts lawyers

At As the details of the HP scandal continue to emerge, we are learning that the HP counsel, in occupying and performing the roles of fiduciary, adviser and fulcrum point for all things ethical and legal in the corporate environment, may have become entangled by those multiple and, at times, conflicting roles and loyalties. How in-house counsel can avoid such pitfalls going forward will now be at the forefront of every corporate legal department, writes attorney Henry E. Hockeimer Jr.

Recall from an earlier IPBiz post on the pretexting scandal: Mark Hurd said Hewlett-Packard would appoint Bart M. Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor, as counsel, to perform an independent review of HP's investigative methods and the company's Standards of Business Conduct processes. Schwartz will report to Hurd and to Bob Wayman, HP's chief financial officer. At the news conference on Sept. 22, Hurd was accompanied by lawyers from Morgan Lewis & Bockius, hired by HP to investigate the scandal.


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