NEW YORK- LAWFUEL – Legal News Network -The new issue of ALM’s Corporate Counsel® magazine, out today, provides the most detailed analysis yet reported on how ex-Hewlett-Packard general counsel Ann Baskins could have —and failed — to stop the spying scandal that rocked HP and resulted in criminal indictments of the company’s chairman and a senior in-house lawyer who reported to Baskins.
While little has been written about Baskins’ role in the spying efforts, reporter Sue Reisinger’s in-depth analysis of more than 1,500 pages of documents, as well as interviews with people close to the investigation, reveals how Baskins let the spying probe spin out of control. The records, which include HP e-mails and interviews conducted by lawyers at Palo Alto–based Wilson Sonsini as part of the company’s internal investigation, were made public by the Congressional committee investigating the affair.
In her story, Reisinger writes, “In the end, the HP scandal comes down to this: The spying probe became a runaway train. And Ann Baskins was the person in the best position to recognize the danger and stop it. But she didn’t. In fact, the records show that from June 2005 to April 2006, Baskins raised legal questions about the tactics at least six times. But she never pushed for a definitive answer about whether the methods used were, in fact, lawful. Or, more importantly, whether they were unwise and dangerous to the company.”
Baskins resigned from HP in September. Called to testify by the House investigating committee, she exercised her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and refused to tell anything.
The complete story, including a detailed chronology of Baskins’ involvement and an analysis of California AG William Lockyer’s decision not to indict Baskins, is available in the January issue of Corporate Counsel and on the Web at www.corpcounsel.com.
The award-winning Corporate Counsel, the nation’s leading magazine for general counsel and in-house attorneys at corporations across the country, is published monthly by ALM and is available on the Web at www.corpcounsel.com.
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