Jack Abramoffs old firm

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Jack Abramoff’s old firm, Greenberg Traurig, is reportedly “deep into settlement talks” with the Alabama-Coushatta, one of the Indian tribes Abramoff bilked. The Alabama-Coushatta did not name Greenberg Traurig as a defendant in a civil RICO lawsuit it filed earlier this month in Texas against Abramoff, Ralph Reed, and others, but that could change if a settlement isn’t worked out.

The lawsuit also provides fresh evidence of a closer connection between Greenberg Traurig and Michael Scanlon than the law firm has ever acknowledged. Scanlon was Abramoff’s close partner in many widely criticized lobbying practices. He pleaded guilty last year to bribing a congressman.

Greenberg has always maintained that Scanlon, who ran a Washington-based public relations company called Capital Strategies, was not a Greenberg employee. But, according to the suit, internal Greenberg e-mails showed that Scanlon “billed hours to tribal clients through Greenberg and that members of the law firm, including attorneys Kevin Ring, Shawn Vasell, Stephanie Leger, Todd Boulanger and others, fabricated hours and time entries for Scanlon.”

I would imagine that no law firm accused of civil racketeering wants to take the case all the way to trial, regardless of the merits.

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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