Saturday, June 7, 2014

G.M. Lawyers Hid Fatal Flaw, From Critics and One Another -

Lawyers are as competitive as athletes - and therefore prone to similar excess.  Zeal - that characteristic trait of the advocate - led GM and its legal department far down a bad road. - gwc
G.M. Lawyers Hid Fatal Flaw, From Critics and One Another -

by Bill  Vlasic
DETROIT — To the legal department at General Motors, secrecy ruled.
Employees were discouraged from taking notes in meetings. Workers’ emails were examined once a year for sensitive information that might be used against the company. G.M. lawyers even kept their knowledge of fatal accidents related to a defective ignition switch from their own boss, the company’s general counsel, Michael P. Millikin.
An internal investigation released on Thursday into the company’s failure to recall millions of defective small cars found no evidence of a cover-up. But interviews with victims, their lawyers and current and former G.M. employees, as well as evidence in the report itself, paint a more complete picture: The automaker’s legal department took actions that obscured the deadly flaw, both inside and outside the company.
While Mr. Millikin survived the dismissals this week of 15 G.M. employees tied to the delayed recall, his department was hit hard.
At least three senior lawyers are among the employees who lost their jobs as a result of the investigation conducted by the former United States attorney Anton R. Valukas.
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