Law Firm Jones Day and Donald Trump Do Not Make an Odd Couple

Jones Day Represents Make America Great Campaign (that is, The Donald as Politico)

“This afternoon, as reported by the Washington Post, the D.C. offices of Jones Day will be hosting a summit of sorts between [Donald] Trump and two-dozen top Republicans. Back in November, Jones Day successfully defeated an effort to knock Trump off the New Hampshire primary ballot.” — David Lat,, March 21, 2016. Here is the article.

The spear carrier from Jones Day is Donald F. McGahn. His expertise is election law. And, like The Donald, he’s controversial.

Lat speculates that one reason for the affinity between Jones Day and the Make America Great Again presidential candidate is that they both play with Rust Belt memes. The Donald is the champion of the working man hurt by globalization. Jones Day, which started in Cleveland and has a thriving Pittsburgh office, also has major clients in the Rust Belt.

For example, its Pittsburgh office defended Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams in its more than a decade-long litigation battle in Rhode Island over its former manufacture and sale of lead paint.

But it wasn’t so lucky in California in another class action public nuisance lead paint lawsuit “People of California v. ARCO.” That has been appealed.

In that, the public relations for the defendants didn’t seem to get the importance of social media. The law firm, Motley Rice, representing the plaintiff, did. The court of public opinion may be more powerful than the court of law.

If Jones Day and its Rust Belt clients are to continue to thrive they have to get better at the grassroots game of public relations. Establishment media messaging is not enough. It is digital tabloid which has turned attention to the role of Jones Day in Trump’s campaign. The Jones Day brand tends, as Lat points out, to be tight-lipped and secretive.

A major development at Jones Day — partner Mark Herrmann’s exit — had some of us wondering about the law firm’s culture. Herrmann is now employed full time as an in-house counsel at Aon. He also, interestingly, does a weekly column for Abovethelaw.

An early adopter in blogging, I covered the RI litigation for client The Dilenschneider Group (DGI). Then and now it’s ambiguous what clients DGI represented. Then and now, the other public relations players did not leverage social media.

This has been repurposed from my syndicated blog.

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