Friday, January 07, 2005

United States v. Gordon (9th Cir. - December 30, 2004)

They train 'em well at Stanford Law School. Here's the "disappointing story of a promising federal appellate law clerk gone bad." How bad, you ask? How about five and a half years "in a federal pound you in the ass prison" (language by Michael Bolton in "Office Space," not me) plus a restitution order of over $27 million. Pretty bad.

On the upside, you've generally got to have had $27 million before you're ordered to give it back. And he did. Plus he got to clerk for the Seventh Circuit, which obviously taught him some valuable lessons. So did being the managing editor of the Stanford Law Review. That's precisely the kind of judgment by the members of that august journal that led them to publish Shaun P. Martin, Intracorporate Conspiracies, 50 Stan. L. Rev. 399 (1998).

Anyway, Gordon made boatloads while an investment banker for Goldman and First Boston (for more quality stories about the latter entity, read Frank Partnoy's book) and then at Cisco during the go-go days in Silicon Valley between 1995 and 2001. But wanted more, more, more. So why not steal it? Which he did. But got caught. Hence the prison time. Moral to the story (as we used to say at Dartmouth): "Don't steal. Don't get caught stealing."

P.S. - No idea if this is the same guy, but there's a "Robert S. Gordon" who graduated from Stanford Law School who's still a member (albeit inactive) of the State Bar of California. Includes his address if you want to write.