The City Lawyers Up

Gary Naftalis

Gary Naftalis, squinting to make sure there's no
money in you.Photo: AP

The Bloomberg administration is facing a heap of subpoenas in the wake of the Deutsche Bank fire that killed two firefighters. So the office of the city's Corporation Counsel is hiring a criminal-defense lawyer, Gary Naftalis, ostensibly to help them sort out which documents to turn over to the investigators. This is, needless to say, an interesting move. City Hall's la-di-da press release says it needs "sufficiently knowledgeable attorneys in order to … fully cooperate" (because, you know, that's what criminal defense does, cooperate). Somehow, we're not thinking Naftalis will be doing what amounts to glorified document review. The man is a co-chair of Kramer Levin, a litigation boutique specializing in ultra-high-profile white-collar litigation; he has a rich (weak pun intended) history of getting wealthy white dudes out of massive trouble, having successfully defended Michael Eisner from Disney shareholders and Salomon Brothers from the SEC. Not that we're implying Bloomberg's in trouble over this, but hiring a guy like Naftalis to "cooperate" is like using a chainsaw to "mend fences."

City Hires Criminal Lawyer for Deutsche Bank Defense [NYT]
Gary P. Naftalis [Kramer Levin]