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July 30, 2012


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Larry Rosenthal

Although I quite agree that it seems quite unusual that Penn State had no in-house counsel for so many years, it is worth noting that a lawyer named Cynthia Baldwin was hired as general counsel in January 2010. The account in the Freeh report of Ms. Baldwin's representation of the University is distressing, to say the least. It is also worth noting that Ms. Baldwin retired on June 30, 2012 (hmmmmm). To my eye, the lack of an in-house counsel has quite limited explanatory power here. It seems more likely that this is yet another case in which a lawyer for an entity worried more about keeping the person who functioned as her boss on a day-to-day basis happy than the interests of the entity itself. In that sense, perhaps outside counsel might have done a better job. After all, if outside counsel had insisted on giving a candid briefing to the Board over the objections of the President, the worst thing that could have happened was that outside counsel would have lost a single client. Ms. Baldwin, in contrast, was probably worried about losing her one and only client.

Larry Rosenthal
Chapman University School of Law


For years, Penn State was represented in almost all matters (employment, IP, etc.) by a local law firm, McQuaide Blasko. As a student, I heard the relationship described as "cozy."

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