The Association of U S West Retirees



SEC Lawyer Has Choice Words For Nacchio, Legal Profession
By Peter Lattman
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, June 21, 2006

In yesterday’s Denver Post, columnist Al Lewis interviewed Bob Fusfeld, an SEC veteran lawyer who’s retiring after 31 years with the agency.  Fusfeld’s been overseeing the SEC’s lawsuit against Joseph Nacchio and other former Qwest executives.  Fusfeld gave a terrific interview. Here’s a sampling:

On the state of the profession:  “‘The practice of law has gotten really nasty in the last several years. Defense lawyers will say and do anything. There’s an awful lot of scorched-earth litigation.”

But haven’t there always been nasty attorneys?  “There are more of them (today) that weren’t breast-fed and are pathologically aggressive.”‘

On former SEC chairman Manny Cohen, who Fusfeld faced off against in his very first case for the SEC, when Cohen was representing Geico as a defense attorney:  “He was the dean of the securities bar, but even though I was as new as can be, he treated me as if I’d been a lawyer for 50 years.  I wish all lawyers treated their opposing counsel with this kind of respect.”

On the Qwest case:  “One of the things I will really regret is not being able to cross-examine Joe Nacchio.  That would have been the highlight of my career.”

On the judicial process:  “Someone once said that a good cross-examination in a courtroom, under oath, is one of the best methods of finding the truth.  I believe that’s true.”