Price Out At Arent Fox Since January

We learned for the first time that Joe Price is no longer employed as partner at Arent Fox.  Legal Times’ Mike Scarcella broke this Friday in his coverage of the April 24th status hearing.

mail-1At the one year anniversary of the murder, media reported Joe as being still employed in the IP practice at Arent Fox.  And at that time his pro bono practice work was taking a star turn; he was lead counsel for Miller v. Jenkins, a pivotal case in gay family law.  Joe is seen here leading a webinar session on the case from May 2007.

The affidavit was still more than a year away and little was known publicly about the details of the MPD investigation, but the Damocles’ sword was hanging over his head.  Joe’s employment situation may have became a very delicate balance.

It tipped on October 27, 2008, when the MPD released the the original affidavit on Dylan Ward.  Price was then put on administrative leave according to the Legal Times.  Does that happen for any Arent partner whose ‘housemate’ runs afoul of the law?

Recently, as Arent’s D.C. office laid off attorneys,  speculation increased on whether the “paid administrative leave” was still in effect.  For the past several months Price was listed as an inactive attorney on the Arent Fox website.

Finally, last Friday, Scarcella reported that Price was “fired,” not “let go” back in January at the time of his indictment.  When business is good a partner at a major D.C. law firm could bring down the better part of a half million a year.   Money like that could go a long way to funding high price legal talent when facing serious felony charges – but that’s no longer the case. 

Does fired mean “no severance?”   Joe may have anticipated this when he sent out this email to “friends and family” last November, two weeks after the Ward affidavit hit, asking for contributions to their legal defense fund.

And what may the shutting off of the Arent spigot mean for Bernie Grimm ?  A leaner, meaner legal team?

And what were the grounds for firing Price, assuming it’s difficult to fire partners?  Perhaps the “large quantity of gay male pornography and Sado-Masochism photographs that were found on Price’s work computer,” as detailed in December’s search warrant affidavits.

But Joe still hopes to practice law.  With the change in employment came a re-registration with the D.C. Bar.  Thanks to “Bea” we’ve learned that Joe filed his fee and listed a DC address, but his email address showed he may have had a new destination in mind.  Having dropped “culuket” as a web nom de plum and using a common email host, his address included “fl” at the end of his username. 

FL, as in Miami Shores?

-David and Craig

36 comments for “Outfoxed

  1. Friend of She Did It
    04/30/2009 at 1:00 PM

    love to all; wonderful post – as usual.

    fired doesn not necessarily mean no severance. that is up to the discretion of the employer. but if the employer has been paying salary for no work for a number of months, the employer may not be too generous with the severance.

    fired for what? that remains a good question. porn on the computer would be grounds at most companies. also, many partnerships may have moral clauses — and porn on the computer could violate that without the need of the firm to examine the extra-curricular activities of a partner. Does anyone know the AF partnership structure? Many firms have a multiple tier system – perhaps Price was non-equity (usually the 1st promotion to partner) in which case it is easier to let someone like that go.

    grimm is not cheap – glad ms. victor is gainfully employed. it does not sound as though price will be looking to immediate family for cash.

  2. jeff
    04/30/2009 at 2:20 PM

    What does an attorney like grimm charge a client for a case like joe’s?

    • SheKnowsSomething
      04/30/2009 at 2:43 PM

      Grimm may be waiting for residuals from book, TV and movie deals.

      • TK
        04/30/2009 at 3:17 PM

        I’m surprised this hasn’t been made into a Law & Order episode already. Maybe they’re crossing their fingers and hoping to find out what really happened first…

        • N.M.
          04/30/2009 at 5:04 PM

          I know I’m like a broken record on this point, but I can’t stop myself:

          *Many* straight men – particular those in the media, it seems – think the sexual abuse of young women is tremendously entertaining. They’ll layer it into infotainment, tv shows, movies – (see, or not, Watchmen, Superbad, Observe & Report)… its so common that reviewers don’t even bother warning women that the “date movie” to which they just gave “two thumbs up” might dredge up the worst trauma of their lives. Hey, its just entertainment – no big deal, right?

          But the sexual abuse of straight men… the editors of this site may want to correct me, since they have actual experience in journalism, and I don’t…. but I’ll go out on a limb and say that mainstream news editors do not foresee their readers rushing to the virtual newsstands to get the latest details on exactly what happened to that handsome young husband who went missing. That’s not entertaining and sexy; that’s ugly, disturbing, off-putting, gross.

          Or to put it another way:

          Rape and murder of Chandra Levy = whoo hoo! Months and months of entertaining, scandalous mystery about the Congressman and his secret young mistress! Its so tawdry, yet I can’t look away! Everyone buy the Washington Post!

          Rape and murder of Robert Wone = god, that’s sick. Disgusting. Why do I have to hear about that? That’s just gross. Can we please talk about something else now? And what is wrong with those people at the Washington Post – can they not find some other news to report? Are they all queer, or what?

          That’s my take on why this hasn’t been a bigger story. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong when the trial starts; probably I will. I don’t know.

          Okay, now I’ve gone and depressed myself. 🙁

          • Craig
            04/30/2009 at 5:10 PM

            Buck up NM – You summed important factors that define much of the MSM coverage of this case. I’m optimistic it may turn around. Thanks as always -Craig

          • Lisper Doll
            04/30/2009 at 6:31 PM

            Far be it from me to miss a chance to cast aspersions on the state of our society, but I think you have this one upside down. Society recognizes that women can be victims of sexual violence and harassment. So societally speaking it is a real issue. There are mores against it which are taught, and women are considered as needing some protection in this regard. When it is seriously transgressed it does get more attention, but not principally because of prurience. Rather because conceptually it is already considered real. That there may be a prurience factor for some is I think secondary. The truth of this is shown by when the same thing happens to a man. If a man is harassed or worse if there is violence. it falls into a void of denial. Men are considered, by dint of masculinity itself, immune to this. Of course they are not. Strange as it sounds what happened to Robert Wone just seems conceptually unreal to our society. The message sent to men is simple. If you want to be left in peace you better be nastier than the next guy. No wonder our society has a lot of nasty guys.

            • N.M.
              05/01/2009 at 10:38 AM

              I agree with you 100% for the second part of your post – every word starting with “…when the same thing happens to a man” onwards. “Conceptually unreal” – wow. Yes.

              But for the first part – the dominant message (IMHO) is that women are “natural,” expected victims.

              We treat hetero rape like we do shark attacks. “Don’t go in the water when its murky, always swim in groups, try not to look like a plump and tempting seal – think of it from their perspective, you can’t blame the shark – nature programmed them to eat seals. Its their ocean; you’re just swimming in it. You don’t want to get attacked? Stay out of the water. After all, sharks will be sharks.”

              • Lisper Doll
                05/01/2009 at 11:47 AM

                As a background matter you are insightfully discerning my basic view of human nature, which is “red in tooth and claw” as Hobbes said. But the whole point, if I may quote an even greater philosopher George Costanza, is that ” You know, we’re living in a society here!” The structure of society gives us our bearings and good instincts. Of course, the bottom-line
                matter is that no one should be a victim. Also, we have a right to judge harshly those who victimize others. I do, for sure. I have no patience or understanding for creeps. So many people treat the world now as their
                experimental ground to work out their problems. They are amazed when others judge them for going through their little crises which cause them to hurt others. As if to say,”well
                I have a right to through my psychological process you know.” I imagine Joe Price gets through the day with such rationalizations, or perhaps he’s just more crudely sociopathic. Whatever the case the key for all of us, not to get too preachy here, is to understand this:
                This world is not the dress rehearsal, it is the performance. There are certain things, if you do them that there is no going back on. I don’t buy the forgiveness trope of our culture in that regard.

                This is all to explain that in regard men and women as potential victims
                the issue is just recognizing a real victim for what he or she is. Victim is not a category. It is a fact based on a crime. The world does not belong to sharks. It belongs to men and women.
                If a man finds a great shark -instincts in his nature then he should channel
                it into business or the military. But in normal life he will be judged like a man alone, and shark behavior will
                land him in the shark pit called prison. Luckily, we have a great example of this complexity in Condoleeza Rice’s recent equation of
                the Bush Administrations mammoth shark psychosis with legality based on
                some twisted version of a Hobbesian argument. ….If the President authorizes it is legal. That a woman makes this ghoulish argument, and that women are luckier than men in benefitting from the protections of society is a nexus of societal contradictions too depressing to contemplate.

                • Lisper Doll
                  05/01/2009 at 11:56 AM

                  Tennyson, not Hobbes for the quote!

                • N.M.
                  05/01/2009 at 12:18 PM

                  From “But the whole point…” to “it belongs to men and women” – I feel *exactly* the same way (twins!).

                  The point of departure is the expectation that society will judge “sharky” men a certain way, especially when it comes to hetero rape. Most hetero rapists don’t go to prison. One reason is because hetero rape is not a priority crime (see Nick Kristof’s NYT column from yesterday – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/30/opinion/30kristof.html?em). Further, comprehensive laws against hetero rape are fairly new – 1970’s era. For example – raping a woman to whom one is still legally married first became a crime in this country in 1975, in one state, and it wasn’t until 1993 that all 50 states were on board. And so on.

                  • N.M.
                    05/01/2009 at 12:39 PM

                    Which isn’t to say that somehow male victims are treated any better – I don’t think the feds even collect stats on male victims of sexual violence. And you have to go to internationally-focused groups like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch to get information about the sexual abuse of men in our prison system (if I’m not mistaken). A colleague of mine used to help run a project on policies to stop prison rape -she said it was even difficult to find anyone to take a permanent position running it.

                    One of the extra-sad things to me about this case is that, as a “professional” feminist, if Robert had been a woman and the roommates hetero men, I would know exactly which activist groups to reach out to to bring attention to this case. There would be a context we would recognize and could deal with.

                    But Robert didn’t have an advocacy group that was already educated about sexual violence against hetero men… there isn’t an organized, angry constituency of activists and supporters. I’m not saying this to blame any existing groups – I don’t – rather, I think that’s one of the reasons why I think the editors here have done something so vitally important. They’ve created a space for people to discuss this case that otherwise wouldn’t exist – because, like you said, its “conceptually unreal” — it doesn’t fit into the existing frameworks.

                    • Lisper Doll
                      05/01/2009 at 4:52 PM

                      Thanks for the insight on the legal aspects, which is of course where the rubber hits the road. I really don’t know much about that aspect. I can certainly see how the question of how it is or isn’t carried out legally makes the philosophical question perhaps secondary. Though your final words seems to imply that agree that the conceptual matter is the basis for being able to make the legal distinctions in the first place. So thanks.

  3. David
    05/01/2009 at 6:07 AM

    I continue to suspect that Wone was assassinated by a government agency (Asian or American). Of course, his isn’t the only interesting murder case around Washington.

    This day, May Day, one year ago, Deborah Jeane Palfrey (aka Pam Martin, aka, the DC Madam) committed suicide in her mother’s Florida home while on bail for sentencing in a prostitution racketeering case. At the time, I pondered that perhaps she left behind some ‘spring guns.’ I certainly would.

    Her attorney, Montgomery Sibley, is using her former legal defense website to tout a book released today about the case. According to the promo video, when Palfrey’s team sought subpoenas of former clients affiliated with the CIA, FBI, and other public agencies and politicians, the judge was changed, the subpoenas were quashed, etc. and so on. Apparently, the attorney got in trouble, too. Maybe he would be a good consultant on the Wone case.

    The great Whore of Babylon knows no bounds. She has become the habitation of demons and every foul spirit. I’m surprised the president would even want his plane photographed near her.

    • Kenspeckled Souckar
      05/01/2009 at 9:44 AM

      To my mind this is the only possible response to
      such an over-the-top post:

      The Walrus and The Carpenter

      Lewis Carroll

      (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)
      The sun was shining on the sea,
      Shining with all his might:
      He did his very best to make
      The billows smooth and bright–
      And this was odd, because it was
      The middle of the night.

      The moon was shining sulkily,
      Because she thought the sun
      Had got no business to be there
      After the day was done–
      “It’s very rude of him,” she said,
      “To come and spoil the fun!”

      The sea was wet as wet could be,
      The sands were dry as dry.
      You could not see a cloud, because
      No cloud was in the sky:
      No birds were flying overhead–
      There were no birds to fly.
      The Walrus and the Carpenter
      Were walking close at hand;
      They wept like anything to see
      Such quantities of sand:
      “If this were only cleared away,”
      They said, “it would be grand!”
      “If seven maids with seven mops
      Swept it for half a year.
      Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
      “That they could get it clear?”
      “I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
      And shed a bitter tear.
      “O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
      The Walrus did beseech.
      “A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
      Along the briny beach:
      We cannot do with more than four,
      To give a hand to each.”
      The eldest Oyster looked at him,
      But never a word he said:
      The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
      And shook his heavy head–
      Meaning to say he did not choose
      To leave the oyster-bed.
      But four young Oysters hurried up,
      All eager for the treat:
      Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
      Their shoes were clean and neat–
      And this was odd, because, you know,
      They hadn’t any feet.
      Four other Oysters followed them,
      And yet another four;
      And thick and fast they came at last,
      And more, and more, and more–
      All hopping through the frothy waves,
      And scrambling to the shore.

      The Walrus and the Carpenter
      Walked on a mile or so,
      And then they rested on a rock
      Conveniently low:
      And all the little Oysters stood
      And waited in a row.
      “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
      “To talk of many things:
      Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
      Of cabbages–and kings–
      And why the sea is boiling hot–
      And whether pigs have wings.”
      “But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
      “Before we have our chat;
      For some of us are out of breath,
      And all of us are fat!”
      “No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
      They thanked him much for that.
      “A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
      “Is what we chiefly need:
      Pepper and vinegar besides
      Are very good indeed–
      Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
      We can begin to feed.”
      “But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
      Turning a little blue.
      “After such kindness, that would be
      A dismal thing to do!”
      “The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
      “Do you admire the view?

      “It was so kind of you to come!
      And you are very nice!”
      The Carpenter said nothing but
      “Cut us another slice:
      I wish you were not quite so deaf–
      I’ve had to ask you twice!”
      “It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
      “To play them such a trick,
      After we’ve brought them out so far,
      And made them trot so quick!”
      The Carpenter said nothing but
      “The butter’s spread too thick!”
      “I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
      “I deeply sympathize.”
      With sobs and tears he sorted out
      Those of the largest size,
      Holding his pocket-handkerchief
      Before his streaming eyes.
      “O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
      “You’ve had a pleasant run!
      Shall we be trotting home again?’
      But answer came there none–
      And this was scarcely odd, because
      They’d eaten every one.


      Return to Lewis Carroll
      Return to Jabberwocky

    • CDinDC
      05/01/2009 at 9:51 AM

      Re Deborah Jeane Palfrey …….don’t shoot the messenger.

      Re Montgomery Sibley, why don’t we just ask Kitty Kelly to write a docunovel about the incident.

    • CDinDC
      05/01/2009 at 10:16 AM

      But seriously, David…..why do you think this is a government (domestic and/or foreign) conspiracy? It’s easy to SAY it is, but please explain why you think so.

      • Fascinating
        05/01/2009 at 11:57 AM

        I would find David’s explanation much more interesting than the long Lewis Carroll poem, LOL.

        • N.M.
          05/01/2009 at 12:41 PM

          I liked the poem.

      • Friend of She Did It
        05/01/2009 at 12:24 PM

        be careful what you ask for CD!!! cheers –

        • CDinDC
          05/01/2009 at 1:47 PM

          Hilarious. So true.

      • David
        05/01/2009 at 9:40 PM

        I’m in the process of boarding my MD20/20 whisperjet, honey, so I can’t give the whole theory right now. While the simplest explanation is preferred among equal choices, in this case, none of the simpler explanations fit the facts as we know them. Perhaps saying government conspiracy is a bit much, but I think perhaps someone specifically killed Wone, either for a reason outside the Swann house (such as a Radio Free Asia connection), or possibly for the purpose of humiliating and inflicting harm upon one or more of the residents by leaving them with a dead body (and some appearance of culpability). A good assassin will not only leave nothing pointing to him, he will also try to point attention to other causes. (It helps when the government fails to mirror the blackbarry).

        But as long as we’re offering poetry…

        My friend, my friend he’s got a knife
        A statement from his former life
        When he was easy but alone
        Beside him was an empty throne
        But what of silver silken blade
        Affix his gaze, his features staid
        Grasps the handle, clips the cable
        One steps up, sits at his table
        My friend, my friend, he’s got a knife
        My friend, my friend, he’s got a wife

        My friend, my friend, the clever ruse
        Persuasion through his thoughts peruse
        A hidden relic from his past
        That wasn’t there when he looked last
        He feels it ticking like a bomb
        Feeding fear, assaulting calm
        Takes the object, starts the game
        Moves closer to the flame

        My friend, my friend, the clever ruse
        My friend, my friend, he lights the fuse

        My friend, my friend, he’s got a knife

        • Nelly
          05/01/2009 at 9:50 PM

          Balderdash! That’s a total red herring. Nothing points to this being a politically-motivated killing. Too many things don’t add up. For one thing, if it was a hired assassin for a political cause, why would the victim have been sexually assaulted? Why would the residents have felt the need to wash up before police arrived? Why was the crime scene cleaned up and the victim showered and placed in an odd pose? And so on and so forth….

          • CDinDC
            05/01/2009 at 10:19 PM

            “MD20/20 whisperjet”

            Coach or First Class?

            • 05/02/2009 at 8:27 AM

              i am thinking she is in the jump seat — and serving those drinks and nuts.

              • CDinDC
                05/02/2009 at 11:00 AM

                Surreptitiously sipping from each drink before handing it to the passenger.

          • David
            05/03/2009 at 9:11 AM

            I merely suggested one possible source of a politically connected murder scheme. As far as sexual assault, I don’t think that is clear. Maybe he was jerking off and fingering his own butt earlier (even some straight guys are into that), totally unrelated to whatever killed him a little later.

          • Lisper Doll
            05/03/2009 at 11:35 AM

            I think Nelly is right. I knew I had heard about some expert research that said that knife stabbing crimes are mostly crimes of passion. I think I found the pdf. about it. Somebody should read through it, I don’t have the patience right now. Here’s the address:


        • Delores Claiborne
          05/01/2009 at 10:55 PM

          I prefer Mack the Knife by Kurt Weill from the Three Penny Opera. It has a lot more drama.

  4. Bea
    05/02/2009 at 3:12 AM

    FYI, Joe Price is not a member of the Florida Bar, so he didn’t previously pass the bar exam there. Someone asked, but I can’t find it now, but Florida does NOT have reciprocity, so one cannot “waive” into the bar there, would have to take the exam (states differ on this – some like Florida have reciprocity with no other states while others do). I checked the Florida requirements, and they specifically require that applicants identify all “arrests” not just convictions (even if the arrest record is “sealed,” one must provide “unsealing” paperwork so the bar can investigate). http://www.floridabarexam.org/public/main.nsf/checklistnoreg.html?OpenPage. Even if this case doesn’t result in a conviction (shudder, if it’s a technicality of some kind, not a fair day in court), he’d likely have to go to lengths to explain even his illegal drug activity as reported.

    No way is Joe going to be allowed to even sit for the Florida bar exam. I guess Victor’s salary is all they have for steady income (liquidating assets and savings aside). Wonder if Victor is willing to pay Dylan’s rent. My guess is that Needham pays that these days.

    • Michael
      05/02/2009 at 10:00 AM

      Bea- Thanks for the research and information on the FL bar. This adds another indication of the long term consequences of this “messy” situation.

      – Michael, editor

    • CDinDC
      05/02/2009 at 11:16 AM

      I wonder if he’s a member of the Virginia Bar. Most attorneys I deal with waived into DC.

      Not that Virginia would offer the alternative Florida would. More curious than anything.

      • 05/02/2009 at 11:40 AM

        Yes, he is a member of the Virginia bar but must’ve opted out of the public search on the state bar’s website, because his name doesn’t appear there. Perhaps his criminal defense attorneys would give him a part-time gig.

    • Nelly
      05/02/2009 at 11:43 AM

      And speaking of Needham, any info on Dylan’s mother Diane? One of his attorney’s filings mentioned that Dylan’s mother was ill. I found that a Diane Ward in Tacoma gave some big donations to Republican candidates. This person lives in a fancy house with a view of the water. If this is his mother, no wonder he moved across the country and had mental health issues.

    • Anon. in Arlington
      05/02/2009 at 1:38 PM

      Thanks Bea! That was me! Very good information to know.

Comments are closed.