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Lines Blur Between Law Firms, Public Relations Practices

Karr Susan Schott | November 16, 2004

In April of this year, The Wall Street Journal ran an unfavorable article about $349.2 million NovaStar Financial, claiming that the subprime mortgage lender had purportedly failed to comply with state licensing rules. The article led to a 30 percent stock-price dip, a class action suit, and an informal inquiry by the SEC—all in the course of one week. Like most companies in that situation, NovaStar immediately turned to a public relations firm for assistance.


But in this case, the “PR” firm was Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, a tony international law firm founded over 140 years ago. In 2003, Orrick had launched a multidisciplinary “Legal Crisis...

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