Sunday, May 6, 2007
Anyone clinging to the notion that there's still much purely domestic legal practice left should've been at yesterday's session on transnational legal problems, part of this year's Northern District of California Judicial Conference. Kent Walker and Bruce Sewell, general counsel for Google and Intel, respectively, joined Bruce Ohr, chief of the organized crime section of the U.S. Department of Justice, in recounting numerous novel-worthy war stories. (Martha Boersch of Jones Day moderated.) There was the story about the essential criminal file that was "lost" when, it was believed, a target paid off a corrupt overseas official, for instance, as well as a few stories about top corporate aides thrown into overseas jail when net-users posted on the web items that the host state deemed offensive to king or country. The session underscored the need for attorneys of all kinds to understand not only the laws of their own country, but also treaty regimes and the politicolegal cultures of the rest of the world.