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Blog Name: Jamie Hamilton @ RoF

SRA rips up GDL and LPC with new super exam
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25 April 2017

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has overruled objections from lawyers and law firms and is pushing ahead with a standardised exam for solicitors.

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) will replace all the current routes to becoming a solicitor, including the requirement for qualifications including the GDL and LPC. Instead, anyone wanting to become a solicitor will need to complete five elements. Firstly, candidates will need either a law degree, a non-law degree, an "equivalent qualification" or an apprenticeship comprising "equivalent experience". Candidates will then have to complete SQE stage 1, comprising an assessment of legal knowledge in six areas:

-Principles of professional conduct, public and administrative law and the legal systems of England and Wales
-Dispute resolution in contract or tort
-Property law
-Commercial and corporate law
-Wills and trusts
-Criminal law

And, in addition, they must pass a practical assessment of legal research and writing skills. Candidates must then complete SQE 2, which assesses five practical legal skills:

-Client interviewing
-Advocacy
-Case analysis
-Legal research and written advice
-Legal drafting

Each of the five skills will be assessed twice, in the context of two specialisms picked from dispute resolution, property law, commercial and corporate law, wills and trusts, or criminal law. The fourth element of the SQE will be two years' work experience. In a significant change from the current system, it will no longer have to be completed as a block two year training contract with a single provider.  Instead candidates will be permitted to gain work experience at up to four different places, including student law clinics and pro bono work. It means students on a so-called 'sandwich' degree course which wraps up two years' work on the job could fulfill the work experience element of SQE before they even graduate. The SRA said this would "remove a barrier which has created a real block on numbers and diversity".

The fifth component is a "character and suitability test" to be administered at the point of a candidate's admission to the profession. So far the SRA has not provided details of the requirements, but it has said the standards will be supplied to candidates when they register to undertake SQE 1.



After initially forecasting that the SQE would be introduced this year, the SRA has pushed back implementation until 2020. Candidates will have until August 2020 to start training under the existing regime.

The SRA said it had undertaken 18 months of "extensive engagement" before coming to its decision. It received "over 240" formal responses to its first consultation in September 2015, and exactly 253 to the second consultation. It also "engaged with more than 6,800 people through 45 events, meetings and digital activities" and received "237,00 impressions on social media". The response was overwhelmingly negative. 60% of consultation respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the suggestion that the SQE was a "robust and effective measure of competence". Over 80% of academics, 70% of law firms and 65% of solicitors disagreed or strongly disagreed.

But the SRA has said that the public are in favour, touting an August 2016 poll in which 1,866 people were asked if they would have "more confidence in solicitors if they all passed the same final exam". 76% agreed with the (arguably rather leading) question, although the poll did not specify that the SQE would only apply to solicitors qualifying in England and Wales, and not to foreign-qualified lawyers.

At a press conference this morning SRA Chief Executive Paul Philip called the consultation "full-blooded", and said it had been the "most contentious" project the SRA had attempted. Executive Director Crispin Passmore said that (luckily for the SRA), "popularity has never been the objective of a regulator", and that "our board is clear this is the right way forward".

One of the key motivations for the SQE was, they said, a desire to increase the diversity of the profession by opening it up to those who were either put off by, or saddled with debt by, the "LPC gamble". At present, candidates who do not obtain a training contract and sponsorship from a firm have to decide whether to pay around £15,000 in course fees for the LPC, with no guarantee of a job at the end of it. SRA Director of Education and Training Julie Brannan said that "students who pay £15,000 are subsidising the cost of the big City law firms who bulk buy places [from LPC providers] at a discount, which does not seem fair". With the destruction of the LPC, those costs are gone. Despite that, LPC providers like BPP and ULaw may not be losers in the SQE era. Although SQE assessments are to be outsourced to a single body, legal education providers will be able to design SQE-preparation modules for candidates and firms, while City firms are expected to continue to demand bespoke training modules relevant to their specialisms. Professor Peter Crisp, Dean and CEO of BPP University Law School, said, "We have been consulting with law firms for some time now to ensure that any new programmes continue to meet their needs for commercially aware and technically able trainees". 

Crisp also said that apprenticeships could now become one of the "major ways in which people qualify as a solicitor", and that there would also be an "exciting opportunity for smaller firms that historically have not paid for LPC training to recruit graduate talent at a much earlier stage than under the current system". For those recruited, "it will bring a welcome end to the financial burden of funding their own training".
 
While the SQE, particularly SQE 2, will still cost money, the SRA predicts it will be far cheaper that the LPC. Its executives rejected suggestions that the SQE would create a two tier system in which firms will continue to pick the candidates they have always picked, while the remaining candidates who obtain piecemeal work experience until they qualify will find themselves unable to secure a job. Passmore said that after "a while" firms would realise that some of their redbrick picks were not as good as the candidates qualifying elsewhere, and would change their recruitment processes to accommodate them.

With firms generally cutting the number of their trainee places and consequently hiring fewer NQs, and an increasing reliance on cheaper labour such as paralegals (or robots), the successful implementation of the SQE could result in lots more newly-qualified solicitors ending up unable to work as solicitors. Despite that, and the fact that many of those may be the more diverse candidates, the SRA has said that as a regulator its role was not to restrict the number of people who are permitted to meet the required standards. Philip said "we need to be able to trust those who enter the profession are fit to practise. The current system cannot provide that confidence". Whereas the SQE would "help law firms recruit the best talent", "help education providers to show just how good they are" and give candidates "from all backgrounds a fair opportunity to qualify". Sqeeee.
.... read more >
Lima law firm boss trolls Chambers & Partners
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13 April 2017

A law firm boss has greeted the news that an editor of the legal directory Chambers & Partners is quitting by telling her at length how he has ignored the company and thinks it's rubbish.

Laura Mills posted on professional networking site Linkedin that she was leaving her job as editor of Chambers & Partners USA, giving thanks in particular to "all of the firms whose participation in our research has made the guides such a great success".


A touching moment. Cue, said a source, "the standard gushing goodbyes and good lucks from contacts". Except for one man. One dedicated griper who decided to cut through the back-slapping like a pissed-off ex at a funeral. Victor Marroquin, a partner in Peruvian firm Marroquin & Merino, informed Mills and the world that "As we are a very discrete boutique in Peru, we have never responded to your research requests".

He continued, "It is part of our philosophy not to advertise in any way or to be "rated"" and confirmed that "we will not answer to Chambers". He went on, "a lawyer who touts himself or herself (or is touted by an entity, i.e. Chambers) loses in our view legitimacy".

    Peruvian party pooper 

With the Llama bit firmly between his teeth, Marroquin wrote, "clients are not with us because you or anyone else ranked us in Chambers", seething, "I have never replied to any of their requests, for the reasons I have just told you". Having done the LinkedIn equivalent of climb onto a desk and shout "Boo! BOO! BOOOOO!" during her leaving speech, Marroquin somewhat oddly wished Mills well, concluding, "Now, time to celebrate your move! Wherever you will go, you will be a STAR! :-)". 



Jobseekers interested in the vacant position will need to bone up on Chambers & Partners unique interview process, which allegedly includes deeply personal questions such as, "Do you have any sexual dreams?" Good times.
.... read more >
Tenuous Link of the Week
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06 April 2017

A wonderful bit of desperate marketing from RollOnFriday favourites, Bristol firm Cook & Co:



The firm has landed on these pages before courtesy of an absolutely glorious trainee diary and its founder's terrible attempt to become a famous person. May its excellent work continue.
.... read more >
The leather-clad lawyers who ride motorbikes
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29 March 2017

Unless you're in leather you're not credible in the niche world of motorcycle law. The lawyers of Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys know this. Here they are ranked in reverse order of the awesomeness of their names.

6.



Michael Smith has the dullest name at Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys. But don't let his parents' conservatism and the muted palette of his leather jacket fool you. According to his profile, Michael started riding motorcycles as a young boy, "as soon as he was able to pedal-start his grandfather’s moped". Since then, motorcycles have been his "primarily (sic) vehicle, both for commuting and recreational thrill-machine use, on and off the road". Michael also has "an unhealthy attraction to barely-running two-stroke dirt bikes and enjoys wiping out all over Stonryford, Silver Lake and Georgetown OHV areas". He also plays for the San Francisco Underwater Hockey team. An oddy.

5.



Marc Smith avoided last place because his first name is spelled 'Marc', not the more conventional 'Mark'. His leather jacket is the same design as Michael's, but shinier, which makes him look more like a real biker. He also has a rebellious stubbly facebox. According to his profile, Marc's "fascination with two–wheels was sparked by his grandfather, an avid motorcyclist, with whom he spent countless hours working on bikes". The mechanic of the team.

4.



Jim Romag's name is so manly it is almost Jim Cro-Magnon. When he’s "not fighting for his clients, you can catch Jim enjoying one of the many twisty roads in Northern California on his 1198s Ducati". Like his colleagues, Jim is not permitted to wear colours.

3.



Shelby's "long history with motorcycles started in Michigan as a small child when his father would put him on the handlebars of his motorcycle and ride around on open back roads". After a series of horrific injuries, "at about age 6, he graduated to a small Yamaha dirt bike, then a Honda NT650 Hawk GT at 14". Shelby wears the classic 'double rider' jacket and is the firm's go-to gel man.

2.



Chuck Koro's name is the actual sound a motorbike makes when it's started up. He also sports the trendy and versatile 'racer' design leather jacket. Who could possibly beat him?

1. 



If the Hell's Angels don't call their hogs' gearsticks 'grindstaffs', they really should. Ashley Grindstaff’s fascination with motorcycling "started at a young age, when her grandfather would take her riding around the block on the back of his bike". Like most of the Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, then, Ashley had a very involved grandfather. Wonderful stuff. Today she is a personal injury attorney with a super-stylish leather number who "identifies with the riding community and feels passionate about helping the hardest hit". Literally the hardest hit. Don't waste her time if you've been dinged by a Prius and popped over the handlebars of your Honda Dream. Grindstaff won't get out of bed for anything less that a full-skeleton crush and a totalled Harley. Her name's Grindstaff.

Thanks to the reader who alerted us to this most macho of firms.

.... read more >
Exclusive: Mark Stephens rubbishes claims he hooked up Assange with Farage
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17 March 2017

Legal pundit and Howard Kennedy partner Mark Stephens has denied being a conduit between Julian Assange and Nigel Farage.

Farage was recently caught by Buzzfeed leaving the Ecuadorian embassy, where Assange has been holed up since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on rape charges. The meeting fueled speculation that Farage had visited Assange at the behest of Donald Trump, who benefited in the US election from Wikileaks' publication of hacked emails which damaged Hillary Clinton.

Stephens was subsequently fingered as the original link between the ex-UKIP leader and the Wikileaks owner when a cache of documents dating from 2011 leaked to Business Insider which it claimed was evidence of a longstanding relationship between UKIP under Farage and Assange. It suggested that the documents showed the relationship was brokered by Stephens, who was then Assange's lawyer. The documents included:

  • An email from UKIP MEP Gerard Batten's secretary to Stephens requesting a meeting with Assange.
  • Minutes of a meeting between Batten and Stephens detailing the possibility of a UKIP press conference supporting Assange. 
  • An email promoting a "UKIP City of London Business Forum" on the European Arrest Warrant, held at the House of Lords, in which Stephens was described as "the solicitor representing Julian Assange" and billed as one of two "Key speakers". 
  • An email from Farage's then-personal assistant providing undisclosed recipients with a review of the House of Lords event, in which she wrote that "Bianca Jagger was there with Mark Stevens (sic) who Nigel spoke to".

However, in emails with RollOnFriday Stephens strongly disputed Business Insider's implication that he was the connection between the two men, as well as the accuracy and veracity of the leaked documents. Stephens said that the meeting note "doesn’t have the ring of truth about it", because it suggested Assange would speak on the continent, when he surrendered his passport in 2010. Querying the characterisation of the House of Lords event, he said, "I don't know what UKIP say they advertised but I've never spoken for them in the City of London". Stephens also challenged the UKIP staffer's recollection of the House of Lords event, saying  "I don't think Farage was there", adding, "in fact I don't think I've spoken with Farage about Assange ever". 

    Stephens wants no part of this 

Stephens, who no longer acts for Assange and has been critical of Trump on social media, said his interactions with UKIP "were only to raise awareness of the deficiencies of the EAW". He said, "I may have been asked to arrange meetings with Assange and UKIP", but, "I didn't do so". At the time, "everyone wanted access and I got enquiries from all quarters. Most of which [I] ignored  or brushed off". Understandably keen to distance himself from an Assange-Farage-Trump love triangle, Stephens said, "maybe a later lawyer or conduit did but I didn't". .... read more >
Firm hangs Scarface portrait in reception
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13 March 2017

Gracias to the reader who alerted RollOnFriday to the portrait of Scarface hanging in a law firm's lobby.

"I was walking down Pocklingtons Walk, Leicester", said the spotter, "and happened across M&M Solicitors. As I passed their office I realised something was amiss. I doubled back and peered into the window only to be greeted by a framed picture of Scarface in the reception".



"I have seen a lot of dodgy artwork in solicitors’ offices", he said. "But Scarface, infamously slumped in his desk chair surrounded by mountains of cocaine and automatic weapons, is a first".

Scarface, aka Tony Montana, is an interesting choice for law firm wall art. It's not just that Al Pacino's tragic drug lord was terrifically guilty. It's that his lawyer was awful. In the movie George Sheffield is introduced as a rock star attorney: "He’s the best lawyer in Miami", says Tony. "He’s such a good lawyer, that by tomorrow morning, you gonna be working in Alaska. So dress warm”. Alas, instead Sheffield finds problems not solutions, telling Tony, “when you’ve got 1.3 million in undeclared dollars staring into a video camera, honey, baby, it’s hard to convince a jury you found it in a taxi cab.” As you'd expect from a man who refers to his client as honey and baby, Sheffield subsequently betrays Tony to his enemies and they try to assassinate him. Tony escapes, tracks down his lawyer and shoots him in the head while he begs for his life. As far as client-lawyer relationships go, it's a rocky one. 

    Bad lawyer 

But these trifling details are obliterated by the popular legend of Scarface, which is 'Boy done good goes out on his own terms with a grenade-launching M-16'. Remember every rapper on Cribs holding up a framed Scarface poster? It's still a cultural touchstone for young men in rags dreaming of riches. To the (alleged) gangsters of Leicester, M&M's big picture of Scarface doesn't say "Eventually you will execute us for treachery". It says, "We know you. We are you. Come in now for muy rápido advice".

As a spokesman for the firm told me, "It appeals to potential clients".

He explained, "we specialise in criminal law and we're opposite the Magistrates Court, so it tends to catch people's eye". He added, "I'd be a rich man if I'd sold it as many times as I've been asked to sell it". Might be an idea. As Tony once said,  "In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power - then, you get the women". Or, in M&M's case, potentially a branch in Nuneaton or Derby. The world could be theirs.
.... read more >
Fair play, Danny Schwarz
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09 March 2017

Danny Schwarz is a partner at Farringdon firm Lawrence Stephens and he wins.





via GIPHY

.... read more >
Exclusive: Simmons & Simmons refuses to admit its NQs are on temp contracts
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07 March 2017

Simmons & Simmons has refused to disclose how many of its qualifying trainees are joining the firm on fixed term contracts, citing unspecified "privacy reasons".

This week the firm announced a decent 80% trainee retention rate. It said 12 out of the 15 trainees in its spring-qualifying cohort accepted offers from the firm and were "staying on as NQs". Graduate recruitment partner Devarshi Saksena said, “We are pleased with the March 2017 results and I’d like to congratulate everyone on their qualification. Trainee development is an important part of the strategy of the firm and we’re receiving great feedback on our new Skills Academy”.

It follows a string of poor trainee retention results which identified Simmons & Simmons as an unattractive destination for students seeking a post-qualification career: a dozen of last autumn's qualifiers, half the intake, were not retained. In spring 2016, six left out of 13, and it was only marginally better in autumn 2015, when 18 stayed but 10 were not retained.

However, a source told RollOnFriday that the 80% retention rate announced this spring is a sham. Several of this spring's qualifying trainees are, they said, only joining the firm on six month fixed term contracts. "Sly" Simmons made the offers "just to boost their retention rate".  

Simmons & Simmons did not mention fixed term contracts in its announcement, and when pressed by RollOnFriday a spokeswoman refused to disclose how many, if any, of its qualifying trainees were being employed on fixed term contracts. She said that the firm could not provide an answer "due to employee privacy reasons", but would not state what the reasons were. 

Simmons has form when it comes to massaging woeful trainee retention figures. In spring 2016 RollOnFriday revealed that the firm had misled the market by claiming a 77% trainee retention rate, when in fact it was 54%. Simmons had secretly discounted from its figures four trainees who had decided to leave the firm.



FTCs can function as an entirely benign instrument for firms to continue to employ good trainees when their departments of choice are under-worked, often in the mutual hope that demand will increase sufficiently to require their long-term services in a few months. However, when their use is not disclosed, it can appear as if the firm is seeking to paint a healthier picture of post-qualification career prospects than the reality.

Simmons & Simmons' apparent deception is important because students rely on firms' trainee retention figures to help them assess whether a firm is likely to employ them beyond their training contract. Omitting to disclose that a proportion of NQs are employed on a short-term basis presents a misleading impression of NQ prospects. As in 2015, anyone taking Simmons at its word today is potentially basing one of the most important career decisions of their life on a false presumption.

Pretty much every firm discloses the number of qualifiers on FTCs to RollOnFriday as a matter of course. The remainder provide them on request. None has hidden them, refused to acknowledge their existence when prompted, then cited (unique in the market) "privacy reasons".

.... read more >
Exclusive: DLA Piper staffer jailed for brutal homophobic attack
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28 February 2017
A man working at DLA Piper has been sent to prison for a vicious homophobic attack.

Faisal Ahmed, who worked in DLA's London office in the reprographics team, was walking drunk through Soho last November when he spotted Sam Martin and his partner Tom Davies holding hands. Ahmed shouted, "you fucking gay boy" at Martin and, when Davies turned and replied, "what?", grabbed Martin by the throat.

Once Martin was released by Ahmed, he began to film the DLA worker on his mobile phone, prompting Ahmed to punch him in the back of the neck, put him in a headlock and pull him to the ground. After the assault the pair followed Ahmed to a pub on Tottenham Court Road and called the police. As he was arrested Ahmed shouted, “I punched him and he fucking deserved it”.

  Ahmed attacks

Ahmed, who claimed that he could not remember the incident, was found guilty of assault and sentenced to ten weeks in prison and two and half months in the community on licence.

DLA used outsourcing company Ricoh to employ Ahmed. Sources told RollOnFriday that Ricoh knew of Ahmed's attack and upcoming prosecution in November, but the company "happily continued to employ him within DLA" and did not inform the firm. A DLA Piper spokeswoman said the firm did not become aware of Ahmed's situation until 25 February. As to whether Ricoh knew a lot earlier, DLA told RollOnFriday it has "begun an investigation with the supplier".

DLA's spokeswoman said, "we are appalled by the behaviour of this individual and it goes without saying this conduct falls well below the standard expected from anyone who works for us, even as a temporary contractor, and we expect our suppliers to uphold the same standards as us". She said, "valuing diversity and having respect for others are key values for the firm and an important part of our culture. We are proud of the work we do for the LGBT community both with our own people and for others through our pro bono work".

Prison takes care of one problem for Ahmed. At the time of his conviction he was advertising on an accommodation website for a couch to sleep on because he didn't have anywhere to live. On his profile he claimed to like, improbably, "people who are open to new experiences and ideas, who do not allow prejudices to dominate their essence". He also needs to update the 'One Amazing Thing I’ve Done' section. Instead of writing, "brutally attack a gay couple on camera", he described the time he rescued an abandoned kitten from the side of a motorway. Heart of gold. .... read more >
The Jones Day Trumpwatch: From partner to mobile phone snitch
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28 February 2017

Oh Don. You didn't think it would be like this. Did you, Don?

When Don McGahn left Jones Day as a partner to become White House Counsel and shoot black pipettes out his mouth at liberal activists, what visions he must have enjoyed.



Did he picture a scene like this, in which attorney Ted Sorensen advises JFK on something staggeringly important like the Cuban Missile Crisis?



Did a modern day version dance through Don's mind? Did he dream of nuclear sugarplums, of himself as Trump's right-tinyhand man? Did he imagine himself straddling the world stage like a colossus, solving global crises with intellectual brio, winning deadly games of brinkmanship with utter authority? 

If so, he must be sorely disappointed, because instead he's masterminding bumfluff like this:



How pathetic. How demoralising. How minor. How telling that the crackdown failed so badly even its existence was leaked. It's feeble sub-Nixonian nonsense. Far from steering world events, Don's a mealy-mouthed prefect for a terrified deputy head. Don is supervising staffers as they check each others' Whatsapps for a text to The Washington Post. Don is a shit bureaucratic version of MacReady from The Thing.

  "I've found a traitor and I'm burning her, Mr President, I'M BURNING MAVE FROM TYPING." 

I think Don might love it, though. I think building the legal framework to square away a besieged narcissist's frenzy of suspicion might be right up Don's alley. Some people thrive off office politics, but no-one loves an internal purge more than authoritarians. Is Don one? The close alignment between Don's preferences and Trump's is undeniable. They're both called Donald. If you need more evidence, this transcript of his interview for the White House job, which has of course also leaked, reveals just how much they have in common:

Donald Trump: Isn't this room amazing.

Don McGahn: It's magnificent.

Trump: It's my favourite bathroom. This toilet is pure gold. It is an antique, an amazing antique, that means it is so old, it is worth so much money. It started a war, they tell me it started the Trojan War.

Steve Bannon: It launched a thousand shits.

Trump: Is that a joke?

[Bannon turns on cable news]. 

Bannon
: Telly!

[Trump is transfixed. Five hours later, Bannon returns and turns it off]

Trump: The best, oldest toilet. Who are you?

Don: I wanted to tell you about my experience which I think makes me suitable for the position. While I was chief counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee between 1999 and 2008, it was investigated by the FBI and its treasurer was convicted of embezzlement.

Trump: That's a huge tick. Whiter than white is only good in one sense, if you know what I mean. You know what I mean. Everyone knows I mean, that's why I won the election. A huge win. The biggest ever they tell me. Bad people can't believe it, the win was so big. It's a movement. The fake news is crying about it, whining. I hate whiners, so they keep attacking me, they wont stop, it's disgusting.

Don: I defended Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay when DeLay was indicted for improperly using campaign contributions. I also defended him when he accepted donations from Russian oil tycoons. 

Trump: I have never met Putin or been to Russia. I know about it, because I read. I read more than anyone you know. I read so much when the words go along the bottom of the screen, and I like some of the words, some of them say very nice things about me. I think they are very fair words, but many, many other words attack me and it is so, so sad and bad for the country. The world is laughing at us.

Don: I was initially passed over for a role with the Federal Election Commission because of concerns over my work as an ethics lawyer for Delay.

Trump: I run the most ethical white house in history. It's so ethical they will write books about my ethics. It's - people cannot believe how ethical I am being. They say President Trump, it used to be a mess. We were stealing things, staplers, no-one cared, we had - you know they took computers home, paintings, parts of the walls as souvenirs and I stopped that. On day one, I said leave everything here. From now on we will just add to the White House. Bronze, big paintings, make it much classier. And they said to me, President Trump, we hated it, it was so drab, but now there's brass coming in and gold and the ethics, we are so grateful. And they love the ethics, they tell me we love working for you, we're scared of the ethics, they admit this to me, I'm a nice boss, I'm the nicest boss you ever saw, and they say we are scared of the ethics, and I told them, don't be scared of the ethics we're putting in place at huge expense, you will do very well with me. Am I too lenient with them? Maybe. I'll be lenient to them. They're such great staff, so loyal. I was lenient on Hillary. Too lenient maybe. People say, was that a mistake? Lock her up, they love that I suggested that, which I was right to do, she was convicted by the FBI, the first time that ever happened. If she steps out of line I might have to send her a message. Bang bang. She knows, she knows. She respects me a huge amount. She calls me all the time. She needs me. I don't need her. She is obsessed with me. She won't stop talking about me, I hear -

[Bannon thwacks Trump on the back of the head, stilling him]

Don: When I finally bagged a spot on the FEC courtesy of a nomination by George W Bush, I blocked attempts to reform campaign financing, and actually loosened the rules on spending. Eventually, I resigned.

Trump: I have had enough of red tape. My new rule is that for every new rule that is made by my administration, two rules must be broken.

Don: Before joining Jones Day, I set up my own practice doing a lot of work for the oil billionaire, climate change-denying Koch Brothers.

Trump: Many people say I am a much better billionaire than them, and there are two of them, there's only one of me but two of them, and I'm still better apparently. They are very shy. Shy billionaires. I'd be shy too if I was called Koch. They're lovely guys though, huge fans. Brothers. Close brothers. Very close. Some people say too close. I don't know about that. They're big fans.

Don: Some of your closest advisers are failed comedians, like battered waxwork Kellyanne Conway and grave robber's assistant Stephen Miller. I too am a wannabe entertainer, wearing my hair long and playing in an 80s cover band. I own 30 guitars. I do it to feed an internalised myth that I am not what I am, which is a composite of the presenters of Top Gear who can degrade humanity with his drafting.

Trump: I don't have losers in my team, some of them did try entertaining and they couldn't do it like me, but they did new things and they were very, very successful with them and in fact Steve Bannon, my close adviser Steve Bannon, he made a lot of money out of Seinfeld so when people say, oh, Bannon is a Nazi, the truth is he loves those people, one at least.

Don: I worked at Patton Boggs before moving as a partner to Jones Day's Washington office in 2014.

Trump: I like those Jones Day guys, they love me so much, very brainy, and I don't say this about lawyers much, but I do like them. I can do without lawyers in a lot of ways, but you can't kill them. You can kill some of them. I could kill all of them. That would get me even more votes, right? Shall I kill them all? I'll think about it. But I couldn't kill Jones Day lawyers. I could but I won't. They are such great lawyers, so supportive. Ok, I will let you have this amazing, amazing job.

Don: I would love the job. I want to ride the Trump Train to the top of Donald Mountain and I am just so happy right now I could cry.

Trump: You are a very stupid idiot, a lot of top people are wanting to have this job, but you are just too dumb and in fact I turned you down. You are a failed lawyer. Dumb!

Don: But President Trump I do want the job! Desperately. Oh God, I just peed my pants.

Bannon: Don't worry, the lies of the liberal media have convinced a lot of candidates to reject jobs with President Trump and it's got to him. He'll realise you accepted in a few seconds, sieg heil.

Don: President Trump what are you...why are you...lying on the floor.

Trump: Just let me...don't move...let me slide...just underneath, between your legs...on the floor. This is a real marble floor, I bought this floor from Europe, it cost millions of dollars, it was Caesar's floor. 

Bannon: Don't move, Don.

Don: What are you doing? President Trump, the pee, it will-

Trump: Let it fall. We are bound now, you and I. 

Don: [Sobbing] I am straddling world events like a colossus. 
.... read more >

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