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Boeing "lawyers-up" Options
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 5:22:15 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 688
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Boeing lawyers-up with dream team of Washington, DC insider lawyers.

Boeing turns to high-powered defense attorneys in 737 MAX investigation

As Boeing responds to a federal criminal investigation related to the 737 MAX, the company has assembled a deeply connected defense team headed by one attorney who represented Vice President Mike Pence in the Russian interference investigation, another who has served as the nation’s deputy attorney general and a third who played a central role in the Russian probe and the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

The behind-the-scene roles of such powerhouse lawyers reflect the high stakes for Boeing. It is simultaneously seeking to convince regulators and the public that the 737 MAX can be safely returned to the skies, while quietly maneuvering through a legal thicket as U.S. Justice Department attorneys aggressively examine how the jet was originally deemed safe before two deadly crashes.

Through a federal grand jury sitting in Washington, D.C., prosecutors are examining the design and certification process of the 737 MAX, after one crash on Oct. 29 off Indonesia and another in Ethiopia on March 10. Those disasters killed 346 people and led to worldwide grounding of the plane. The probe is cloaked in secrecy, but some of the Justice Department’s workings have become known as prosecutors issued subpoenas for documents.

Boeing has said little about the investigation, but The Seattle Times pieced together a picture of who is handling the company’s legal response through interviews with people who revealed the company’s actions on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the inquiry.

The three attorneys leading the defense team are Mark Filip of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, who served as deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush; Richard Cullen of McGuireWoods, a Virginia-based law and crisis-management firm; and William Burck, co-managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

“These individual lawyers and their firms are a team of some of the most respected lawyers and law firms in the country,” said J. Michael Luttig, a former federal appeals court judge who is now a Boeing counselor and senior adviser overseeing legal matters arising from the crashes. That team has previously represented Boeing in various matters for more than a decade, he said.
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