What does Davis’s sexual orientation have to do with this story? (Not a rhetorical question. I’d like an answer.)
By Jane on 2012 05 14, 12:30 pm CDT
Maybe it’s relevant to the criminal investigation. He deceived his wife for 24 years, so he’s apparently not such a great guy. When that deception is combined with his behavior in searching the email archives at LeBoeuf so that he could blackmail (it seems to me, based on the story) some partners who disagreed with him and Mr. Davis starts to sound like a real slimebag.
By Edsel Prefect on 2012 05 14, 12:51 pm CDT
If I had to chose between a couple partners who wrote snarky e-mails and a moron who was bent on pushing a merger just so he could run the combined firm aground in a more epic debacle, I would take the guys with the snarky e-mails.
By B. McLeod on 2012 05 14, 6:41 pm CDT
@Jane I agree. The personal lives for better or worse of no other players are being mentioned in this coverage. It’s salacious gossip that does nothing to support the facts and without further information (i.e. context) his gayness or his marital history shouldn’t be used to enhance his slimebaggery.
By M. Hancock on 2012 05 18, 6:05 am CDT
Of course, your right. However, as we know, our culture feeds at the trough of this stuff so it’s thrown in.
By 7Mondays on 2012 05 18, 8:38 am CDT
@Jane . . . there are 2 responses to your inquiry . . . First, sexual orientation should have NOTHING to do with the issues in the article. Second, where have you been with regard to the sexual orientation debate? Sexual orientation, for what it is worth, is a player in all aspects of life. From the President saying that he supports gay marriage and civil unions but then saying it should be up to the states to decide to the most recent vote in North Carolina . . . unfortunately, sexual orientation IS relevant and is on par, it seems, with a false statement on a curriculum vitae (See Yahoo CEO resignation).
By Arkansas Lawyer on 2012 05 18, 8:44 am CDT
Regarding the reference to Davis’ sexual orientation, I can see how it might seem a bit gratuitous in this brief post. However, the original article at the WSJ gives a fairly detailed biographical sketch of Davis, including his law school career, early professional life, his marriage, etc. Within the context of that larger article, it doesn’t seem out of place. And after all, haven’t we moved beyond such defensiveness concerning sexuality? These days, the mere reference to a person’s orientation is not always a dog whistle. Here, it is just another fact that makes up a picture of the person. As Jerry Seinfeld expressed it years ago, yes, the man is gay, “not that there’s anything wrong with that!”
By TLC on 2012 05 18, 8:47 am CDT
FWIW, I think if the article just stated out of the blue that Davis is gay, it would be wholly gratuitous. Like # 2 observed, though, saying he “came out as gay ... after 24 years of marriage” is slightly different, and arguably more relevant to the criminal investigation (e.g., what else has he been lying about?) But including the sentence that he has been in a 10-year relationship with another man does seem entirely irrelevant.
By Lex Luthor on 2012 05 18, 10:14 am CDT
They saw he was up on the current Hollywood fads, so they just assumed he could manage a large firm. Like Toonces’s owners, who saw him with his paws on the steering wheel, and just assumed he could drive. Except that Toonces actually could drive. Just not very well.
By B. McLeod on 2012 05 18, 12:55 pm CDT
What if he didnt know he was gay until the 24th year of marriage?
By Karma on 2012 05 18, 1:04 pm CDT
@ Karma - how could he not? Isn’t everyone ‘born that way’ - meaning, the way they are oriented? As i recall, that argument has been central to the gay ‘rights’ activists’ activism, anyway.
By rbindc on 2012 05 18, 2:24 pm CDT
#1 Jane and #2 Edsel, I think it is wrong to say his sexual orientation is any less relevant than the long-term marriage and the long-term present relationship. Personal life is part of a life. But if it were me as editor, I’d want to see the relevance specified in the text before publishing it.
So it’s at least a constructive response to ask whether deceiving a wife for 24 years indicates a flawed character capable of sinking a megafirm. However constructive, though, it’s wrong!
Very, very few people who know they’re gay, but maintain a commitment to a straight marriage, are being “deceptive” in the true sense of the word. They may be fooling themselves into thinking it will work, depending on how far from bisexual their orientation is; but a lot of straight people fool themselves into thinking they can be monogamous when they know they’re tempted to stray. Is every such man “deceiving his wife” if he is faithful but tempted, and confesses nothing of it, for 24 years? I don’t think so.
I’m assuming that the man was seriously in denial about being gay 24 years ago. Not only was that kind of denial common back then, but actually understanding one’s sexuality was far rarer, and accepting one’s own homosexuality was far more terrifying.
If we can say he was deceiving his first wife for 24 years, then maybe we must say exactly the same thing about a man who divorces to marry another woman after 24 years.
By Avon on 2012 05 18, 2:48 pm CDT
@11, Avon @12 beat me to the response. Denial of one’s nature maybe deception to one’s self but it doesnt mean that you are deceiving another. At least the intention to deceive may not be there.
BTW I believe that people are born, homosexuals, heterosexuals or bisexuals. Society on the other hand tries to change nature and hence the confusion and conflicts and apparent deceptions.
At least he is into long term relationships.
By Karma on 2012 05 18, 4:59 pm CDT
Maybe he was completely honest with his wife, and only became “gay” when he saw that it was going to be BigLaw career-trendy.
By B. McLeod on 2012 05 18, 5:00 pm CDT
Whether people are “born that way” or “turn” gay is pretty much irrelevant, if you consider that most situations are explained by a different phenomenon instead:
People may realize what they really are only after a long period of confusion - and often they are attracted (to some degree) to both sexes enough so that there isn’t necessarily ever any change.
Even Kinsey (creator of the Kinsey Scale in the 1950s) felt that a lot of people are somewhere between the ends of the scale (a 1 and a 6); that’s why it’s a SCALE in the first place! Nowadays, it’s a lot more common for people to understand themselves as bisexual right off the bat. And it’s easier for people to understand themselves as almost/usually gay, or almost/usually straight. There were mighty few examples “out” there until recent years, especially if you stuck to a mainstream lifestyle and mainstream media. When our hero in the “case at bar” spent 24 years in his marriage, it would’ve been a whole lot harder for him to understand the things he might actually be or not be.
Another reason “born vs. become” is unimportant is that it has nothing to do with promiscuity versus monogamy (or celibacy either).
There are always going to be millions of people in whatever category that you’re attracted to, regardless of which category that is, and regardless of whether you change categories.
By Avon on 2012 05 18, 6:19 pm CDT
Sexual orientation is defined not by one’s sexual partners, spouses or dates, but which gender or sex organs one fantasizes about while, or just before, having an orgasm. Thus, straight men and lesbians fantasize about women or female genitalia, gay men and straight women fantasize about men and male genitalia. The idea is that you can fool yourself and others by who you have sex with, date or marry, but you can’t fool your subconscious. Kinsey’s scale notwithstanding, there are no examples of true male bisexuals in the referreed, psychoanalytic literature. The idea of being gay is frightening, and it is one that many people try to deny. Denial is not lying. I think his sexual orientation and his process of coming out are irrelevant to whatever he did to Dewey.
By StCheryl on 2012 05 19, 2:52 pm CDT
The real issues are the nature and complexities of law firm management of the mega firm. How can partners control their destinies in these operations?
Egos run amock and the bottom line and sensible risk taking are ignored. Remember the Brobeck firm in San Francisco? Seems like a similar scenario, only worse, at Dewey. Too bad that a formerly vaunted enterprise got sucked into the vortex of greed and meglomania.
By David van Atta on 2012 05 19, 9:18 pm CDT
How many people can really claim entitlement to wear a T-shirt that proclaims “I destroyed a giant law firm”? Even now, it remains a pretty small club.
By B. McLeod on 2012 05 19, 10:10 pm CDT
Like any poorly run business, when inefficiently used assets are reorganized and redirected toward more profitable and efficient activities, it is better. This breakup—a good thing.
By Reorg on 2012 05 21, 6:08 am CDT
The continuing sycophantic remarks by so-called law firm managing partners indicating that the hiring of Ferrarra by Davis was a “great move” demonstrates the poor judgment and intellect of such managing partners. LeBoeuf had been an incredibly stable law firm, envied by others, throughout most of its 60+ year history because of its (1) dependable receivables, (2) excellent cash flow and (3) ability to carry no third-party debt. The hiring of the temper-tantrum throwing, egomaniacal and crass Ferrrarra and his group (Ashton swore like a sailor) and the ridiculous decision to pay forward amounts unheard of in LeBoeuf’s history was the fulcrum that destroyed LeBeouf and later the already failing Dewey. Davis decided to turn against his own partners, force them out and push forward his megalomaniacal vision of an “All Star” firm. Of course, the all stars had no commitment to the firm, its clients, other partners or even each other. And they did not perform. (Maybe that’s why Kessler’s group trumped Ferrarra’s on the recent departure - one had a book, one had a reputation - as a complete ass.) This was not rocket science. And Davis is a greedy doofus as a law firm manager (but he earns an A+ as a self-interested, inhumane and self-possessed narcissist). Please, stop with the “Ferrarra was a great move” BS.
By Dov9999 on 2012 05 22, 11:23 pm CDT
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