The Wall Street Journal article is weak on articulating why it might be a conflict for Gibson Dunn to represent Gov. Christie, given that the firm has represented (and apparently continues to represent) the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey regarding toll increases in 2011. I've yet to hear why the firm's representation of Gov. Christie is directly adverse to the Port or that the representation of either is materially limited by the representation of the other. It's not impossible that a conflict exists, but we'd need a clearer explanation of why it might be. (Our own Stephen Gillers is quoted in the article. His earlier post about the hiring of Gibson Dunn is here.) Excerpt:
Lawyers at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey lodged an objection Friday about Gov. Chris Christie's hiring of a global law firm to represent his administration in the George Washington Bridge scandal.
The agency's lawyers see a potential conflict because the same firm has represented the authority in lingering disputes over 2011 toll increases, people familiar with the authority's concerns said.
Mr. Christie said this week that attorney Randy Mastro and the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP would represent his administration amid multiple investigations of its involvement in the closing of lanes leading to the bridge in Fort Lee, N.J., allegedly for political reasons. The reduced access caused traffic snarls for five straight days in September.
Gibson Dunn has billed the Port Authority for $4 million in matters related to the 2011 toll increases, officials said, including a lawsuit by a motorists' interest group and a legislative subpoena for records on the toll increases.