New York Personal Injury Law Blog » First Amendment


September 27th, 2007

Bill Clinton "Counselor" Is Not Licensed New York Attorney

The story broke yesterday in the local press about the threatening letter that Clinton’s attorney had sent to the owner of Osso Buco about Chelsea’s picture in the window. Being a local legal story, albeit a type I don’t usually cover, I blogged it. The letter contained the demand it being taken down, with this “or else” threat: “We reserve the right to exercise any and all options available to us if you refuse to comply.”

I had referred to the letter writer as an attorney, since that was the way the New York Post had referred to Douglas Band, who had signed it. (The Post again refers to Band as an attorney today.)

A copy of the letter is at The Smoking Gun, and with it, Band’s signature as “Counselor to President Clinton.”

The story has now been picked up by many other bloggers (Above The Law, Volokh, Althouse).

It turns out that Douglas Band is not an attorney, or at least not one in the State of New York. I checked both the Office of Court Administration web site and, in case that was in error, the “red book” (New York Lawyers Diary and Manual — Bar Directory of the State of New York) that sits on my bookshelf.

It turns out Band was a former White House intern and Bill Clinton’s longtime personal assistant, according to New York Magazine.

Whether the letter was meant to be deliberately misleading, coming from a “counselor” with its implied threat of litigation, or was just inadvertently misleading, I will leave to the reader to decide.

“The Letter,” by the way, is now in the window of the eatery.

(Eric Turkewitz, on the other hand, is licensed to practice law in New York)

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