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Updated on September 9, 2010

Professionals Do Not Make Such Mistakes, But Perkins Coie Does

Well, they have done it again...the all-star blunderers from Washington, D.C. The all-star blunderers are, of course, the clowns and tricksters at Perkins Coie - the seven hundred lawyer law firm representing the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound from the madnesss called Cape Wind. This bunch of rocket scientists accidentally released confidential information about how Cape Wind derived its costs for the pending power purchase agreement with National Grid. They sent it out in a flurry of e-mails and the foul up was discovered and reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.

As this is being written the Mass. DPU is in its third day of evidentiary hearings concerning the very same PPA. Yesterday the DPU chairman blasted the Alliance. She is quoted in the Boston Herald as saying, "I want to make absolutely clear the seriousness with which we view this breach." She, chairman Ann Berwick, also said that neither she nor other DPU regulators could remember another instance of such a breach. So, the news is not all bad: the Alliance has set yet another precedent. Making history seems to be the new goal of the Alliance. First, they lost their effort to prevent Cape Wind from receiving its federal and state permits, then they committed the most serious breach of confidentiality this DPU has ever seen. Also in the good news department, DPU Chairman Berwick promised sanctions will issue for any further such conduct. Again according to the Boston Herald, she said, "The sanctions will include, but not be limited to, a report to the licensing authorities where any responsible lawyers are admitted to practice." Benson may meet God yet. This is more than a stern finger wagging. This is an enormous embarassment and yet another sign that the Alliance has regained its amateur status. And, the Alliance has bnot denied what DPU claims happened.

Those tens of thousands of Cape Codders and their countless comrades across Massachusetts who see Cape Wind for the scam it is and actively oppose it should ask the Alliance why they are still pouring money into the pockets of incompetent attorneys. Why are they risking Nantucket Sound itself by relying on cowards and dummies?

And who is this Glenn Benson, the Perkins Coie trial lawyer who admitted guilt for the screw up? Why does he still have a job? This Little Leaguer said he was rushed by the crush of things he had to file. Sending a boy to a man's job often has dire consequences. In a delicate, highly charged and globally significant case this Glenn Benson character has succeeded in angering the very people he needs to convince, to bring into his camp. Is it impolite to call Mr. Benson bungling? Supid? Incompetent? Over priced? Does he retain any credibility with the Massachusetts DPU? For that matter, does the Alliance?


What will it take for the Alliance to get rid of the albatross around its neck, Perkins Coie? Malpractice is too polite a word for their performance to date. I hope Jim Gordon shows them appropriate gratitude for their assistance.

COPYRIGHT 2010 By Peter A. Kenney



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