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Law in Popular Culture
Posted May 16, 2017 12:46 pm CDT
A letter written by Morgan Lewis & Bockius to President Donald Trump was the source of jokes on “Saturday Night Live” last weekend.
Marketing experts tell the Legal Intelligencer (sub. req.) there will probably be no negative impact on the law firm.
The SNL bit poked fun at the letter (PDF) summarizing the law firm’s review of 10 years of Trump’s tax returns. The firm said the returns reflected no income from Russian sources “with a few exceptions.” Those exceptions were income from holding the Miss University pageant in Moscow and the sale of a beachfront estate, according to a New York Times report on the letter.
In the show’s “Weekend Update” segment, Colin Jost noted the “few exceptions” language and said it wasn’t comforting. “It’s like hearing, ‘Don’t worry, all the kids came back from the field trip—with a few exceptions,’” he said.
Jost also noted that one of the lawyers, William Nelson, shared a name with country singer Willie Nelson, “who famously didn’t pay his taxes.”
Even if Morgan Lewis isn’t pleased with the attention, the SNL segment is unlikely to change how most clients view the firm, Gina Rubel of Furia Rubel Communications said in an interview with the Legal Intelligencer.
“Speaking as a lawyer and as a publicist, I don’t think they have anything to be ashamed of because their job is to litigate successfully for their client,” she told the publication. “Anybody who has a decision-making power to hire Morgan Lewis understands what this is about.”
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