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Apple's ex-lawyer retains her own lawyer

Laurie A. Duncan
Laurie A. Duncan|November 13, 2006 2:00 PM
Nancy Heinen, Apple's former general counsel who was just replaced by Donald Rosenberg, has retained a Berkley white collar crime lawyer just in case she needs to defend herself against charges resulting from the whole messy options backdating problem. Heinen abruptly exited her post at Apple last spring with no explanation given and neither Apple nor Heinen has bothered to elaborate on what exactly went down or even whether she was fired or resigned on her own.

Heinen has hired Cristina Arguedas of Arguedas, Cassman & Headley, who said in an interview last week that federal authorities have not contacted Heinen about her possible role in Apple's option grants and Miles Ehrlich, a lawyer at Ramsey & Ehrlich. "Every executive, CEO, CFO, general counsel, any high-up person in Silicon Valley in their right mind is getting themselves legal representation because of this legal environment right now," Arguedas said. "I have a number of clients who are executives who think it would be a good idea to be represented. It doesn't mean anything that they have chosen me to do that."

Fellow TUEWstress Erica Sadun discovered that Cristina Arguedas, aside from being Apple's ex-lawyer's lawyer is go-to-lawyer for lawyers in general, according to the Wall Street Journal law blog. In addition to defending Nancy Heinen, she has also defended legal eagle Ann Baskins, Hewlett Packard general counsel, among others. Is there a special Counsel the Counselors class in law school we wonder?

More than 90 companies are the subject of stock option inquiries right now. The FBI said Wednesday that it's investigating 45 backdating cases, while prosecutors in the past three weeks have charged five former executives of two companies, including two ex-CEOs. Sounds to me like Heinan is very wise to retain counsel at this stage of the game.