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CEOs Give Insight About Inside Counsel

Ever wonder what businesspeople think of their lawyers? Wired GC sheds some insight on this, when he excerpts from this New York Times interview (1/15/07) with Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun. From the interview, here's Schwartz's view on legal advice:

I’ll give you my view on legal advice. Lawyers are the very core of Sun Microsystems. I mean in essence we’re a company that monetizes intellectual property. There’s a lot of lawyers involved in helping us think through open source licensing arrangements, you know, customer indemnity. These are not simple things. But at the end of the day, when folks inside of Sun come to me and say, a lawyer wouldn’t let me do X or Y or Z, my response is, well, then why don’t I move headcount under the lawyer, because who’s making the decision here — the lawyer or the businessperson? So legal advice is just that, it’s advice.

So while lawyers can add value, at the end of the day, it's the business folks who run things. And if business doesn't want to listen to the lawyers, they don't have to -- because legal advice is merely advisory. With that kind of attitude from clients, being a GC can't be easy ...

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 16, 2007 at 08:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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