A recent article on the National Public Radio website details the lawsuit by the right-wing, male-only group Proud Boys against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after the latter organization labelled the former a hate group. Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes says that he is not running a hate group, and, therefore, the SPLC designation defames him.
McInnes says that Proud Boys is a harmless fraternal group, and that, while they may not be politically correct, they are far from a hate group. SPLC, by contrast, say that the group in general and McInnes in particular have a documented history of making racist, homophobic and xenophobic remarks.
Issues of reputation
McInnes says that the classification of Proud Boys as a hate group by SPLC forced him to leave the group he created because its and his own reputation had been destroyed. He noted that PayPal, Twitter and other online entities dropped Proud Boys after the classification, and he says that isn’t fair. His lawyers go on to question the amount of power SPLC center has in shaping public perception of fringe groups with strong views.
SPLC have responded to the effect that they do not feel that McInnes has a legal case against them. For starters, they say his group is, in fact a hate group, and that they are merely voicing their own opinions as protected by the First Amendment. They also say that having earned the enmity of a person such as McInnes, who they characterize as bigoted, proves that they are doing their job.
SPLC was formed in 1971, and their mission is to advocate for the civil rights movement. Their hate group list is meant to put down in one place organizations they feel discriminate against others based on race, religion, sexual identity, gender orientation or ethnicity.
In a recent lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General, the Sackler family is alleged to have built a huge fortune off of the production of OxyContin. This opiate drug is known to be highly addictive within a short amount of using the prescription painkiller. OxyContin addiction has often lead to people buying similar drugs off the street, some of which have been contaminated by the animal tranquilizer fentanyl, which is deadly in minute doses. Overdoses and deaths related to Oxycontin and fentanyl have skyrocketed over the past six years.
In the Massachusetts lawsuit, Attorney General Maura Healey found that in 2013, Purdue Pharma paid the Sackler family $400 million from its profits of selling OxyContin. Those profits were from the first three quarters of the calendar year. During the fourth quarter, profits from OxyContin decreased. At this time, the Sackler family is alleged to have pushed Purdue Pharma to increase the pressure of its sales representatives on doctors and hospitals to prescribe more of the addictive drug.
Purdue Pharma followed up on this by hiring a consulting firm. The consultants targeted doctors who wrote the highest numbers of prescriptions for OxyContin. Many of those physicians were located in the state of Massachusetts. After getting more visits from the pharmaceutical sales representatives, one doctor wrote 167 more OxyContin prescriptions.
Between 2008 and 2016, the Sackler family was paid more than $4 billion by Purdue Pharma. The lawsuit charges that the Sackler family has profited from the injury, addiction and death of people who were prescribed OxyContin by their doctors. Eight members of the Sackler family who have served on the board of Purdue Pharma as well as other members of the company’s board have been specifically named in the lawsuit. A judge on the case demanded that Purdue Pharma release its sales records. Purdue Pharma requested that its release be allowed to include redactions. The judge declined that appeal, forcing Purdue Pharma to release its records in full.
The lawsuit is ongoing in the Suffolk County Superior Court, which is located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is just one lawsuit of several hundred filed against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family by state attorneys general from across the United States. The states are attempting to recover some of the funds they have spent on emergency care, police response and addiction treatment for people who have taken or been harmed by OxyContin.
A 27-year-old man from India recently went viral after he stated that he was going to sue his parents for giving birth to him. He stated that he did not give his parents consent to have him. The man, whose name is Raphael Samuel, stated that his parents should pay him for life. He also said that anyone who is born without their consent should be paid for life.
Raphael stated that he wants everyone to know that they do not owe their parents anything. He also said that parents should maintain their children for the rest of their lives. He said that he wishes he had not been born. Raphael stated that his life is not bad, but he wishes was he was not here.
Viva Frei is an attorney who has commented on this issue. He stated that this lawsuit is the stupidest thing that he has ever heard. He said that it is obvious that the man is doing this for publicity. He also stated that this can possibly be a social experiment.
Viva said that even though this lawsuit is stupid, he said that there is something that people can learn from it. You have to be able to prove fault, damages and a link between the two. Viva said that this lawsuit is not going to go anywhere.
Visa also stated that the man admitted that his life has been wonderful, so he has no reason to sue his parents. Additionally, he said that newborns do not require their parents’ consent. A newborn is not capable of giving consent by law.
Raphael is being slammed by people on social media. One person said that Raphael’s parents should counter-sue him for housing, food and educational costs. Another person stated that the man is ashamed of his actions, which is why he is disguising his looks.
Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Jack Phillips, a devout Christian owner of a bakery in Colorado, refused to create a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding for religious reasons that are backed by the First Amendment. He offered to sell the couple other products in his bakery, but the lower courts found Jack Phillips to be in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. SCOTUS ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack Phillips, citing the CCRC’s hostility towards religion. SCOTUS did not decide on the constitutionality of the CADA, so a case like this will likely appear in front of SCOTUS in the future.
Murphy, Governor of New Jersey v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
This 6-3 decision ruled in favor of states to allow sports betting. States were prohibited from allowing sports betting entities from being created according to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. States were charged with enforcing the PASPA, but New Jersey sued to relieve the state from enforcing the PASPA. SCOTUS ruled that Congress overstepped its powers by making states enforce federal law.
Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis
The Fair Labor Standards Act allows employees to litigate labor disputes as a class or collective action in federal courts. This 5-4 decision ruled in favor of employers putting in place and enforce arbitration agreements in employee contracts that ban collective action.
Carpenter v. the United States
Wireless carriers can track, collect, and store the location of its users when users cell phones connect to a cell tower site. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies would contact wireless carriers to obtain cell phone information to help find criminal suspects. In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS ruled that law enforcement agencies will have to get a warrant to gain access to this information.
South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.
In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS ruled in favor of South Dakota who wanted to collect taxes for out-of-state online sales. Legal experts expect other states to look at this ruling and develop out-of-state online sales tax laws that are in line with this ruling.
While more well-known for her reality television shows and other business and entertainment enterprises, Kim Kardashian has also recently appeared to embark on a new path, that of social justice activist. Along with her much-discussed Oval Office meetings with President Trump in which the two discussed criminal justice reform, Kim Kardashian has also in recent months taken up the cause of Cyntoia Brown. Serving a life sentence in prison for a murder she has freely admitted to committing, there are nevertheless numerous celebrities, social activists, and organizations such as the ACLU working to see Cyntoia Brown be set free.
Considered a classic example by many of how the criminal justice system can sometimes fail those who may slip through the cracks, Cyntoia Brown’s case is quite complex. Like many young girls, Brown was a victim of sex trafficking. When she was 16, she was arrested for murdering a man, Johnny Mitchell Allen, who had paid to have sex with her. Despite a claim of self-defense, her age at the time of the murder, and the set of circumstances surrounding the case, Brown was sentenced by a jury to life in prison.
Having already served many years of her sentence, Brown will be eligible for parole when she turns 69. However, Kardashian is hoping to see Brown win her freedom well before then. To accomplish this, she has hired a team of high-profile criminal defense attorneys to review the case and work to free Brown, headed by lead attorney Shawn Holley.
Using social media to her advantage, Kardashian has taken her cause of freeing Cyntoia Brown to her large online legion of followers from around the world. As a result, Brown’s case is drawing worldwide attention, with many legal experts believing her case may eventually lead to her winning her freedom.
But along with the case of Cyntoia Brown, Kardashian has also played a key role in using her new-found social justice activism to help win the freedom of another prisoner, Alice Johnson. Given a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug conviction, the now 63 year-old Johnson was recently granted clemency and pardoned by President Trump after a meeting between himself and Kardashian.
With these success stories under her belt, one wonders if Kim Kardashian will continue to use her celebrity influence in future cases of social justice. To learn more details about this story, visit abovethelaw.com.
Investigators and assistant prosecutors in the county of St. Louis recently voted to become members of the police union. The vote is taken at a time when a leader with reform in mind prepares to take control of the St. Louis County Prosecutors Office.
The vote happened on Monday and has raised concerns that a conflict of interest could develop.
Wesley Bell is the new County Prosecutor in St. Louis. He is the first person of African-American heritage to hold the position. Bell will replace Robert McCulloch, who was County prosecutor when a grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The grand jury decision sparked violence among the citizens of Ferguson and protests across the country.
Bell stands in opposition to the death penalty and prefers treatment alternatives for individuals accused of minor drug offenses. He has also been on record promising reform to the cash bail system used in St. Louis County. Another major emphasis Bell expresses is holding police officers accountable for the actions they take while on duty.
The St. Louis Police Association is viewed by some as the most aggressive police union in America. The union regularly donated to the campaign efforts of McCulloch throughout his nearly three decades as County Prosecutor.
Jeff Roorda is the business manager for the union. Roorda caused a stir on social media a few years back when he used a Facebook platform to blame then president Barack Obama for the shooting of five police officers in Dallas, Texas. Roorda also made comments to the media suggesting the happenings in Ferguson amounted to a war being waged on police officers around the country. He also penned a book on the matter entitled Ferghanistan: The War On Police.
One potential conflict identified by the Washington Post is a scenario where a prosecutor files a criminal complaint against a police officer. If that officer then files a complaint with the union, which of the two union members will be backed by the union?
The Post also concluded that the vote to join the union by investigators and prosecutors can only serve to further worsen an already bad relationship between the police and the black community in St. Louis County.
Bell acknowledged that the choice by assistant prosecutors to join the police union raises questions but said he supports their right to join the union of their choice.
A 45 year-old-California man has been charged with at least 10 felony cases and accused of 16 dining-and-dashing cases. He’s now looking nearly 17 years of prison food. The man personally met at least 13 women on a number of online dating websites, and now, he’s accused of running out on over $1,000 of dinner tabs. Needing to use the washroom or retrieving an item from his car were some of his excuses. After excusing himself for a minute, he’d never come back. His dates were left with the check. Since he never returned to the dinner table with his accusers, the prosecution convinced the presiding judge that he might not return to court either. Accordingly, the judge set bail at $315,000. The man remained behind bars until he could post bail.
The accused dine-and-dasher dater in this case is reportedly charged with 16 counts of extortion, two counts of attempted extortion and one count of grand theft. His scamming allegedly spanned a period of just under two years across southern California. In California, extortion involves obtaining property from somebody else by force or fear. At this point in time, it hasn’t been disclosed on how the prosecution intends on proving extortion. Both lawyers and non-lawyers perceive of extortion as being connected with blackmail. If that’s the case, the man’s defense options might be limited, especially if he left threats on the internet after dining and dashing.
One woman questioned why the man would want to date a woman who looked like her. Another said that he knew all of the right things to say at the right time. In yet another case, he’s accused of leaving an expensive hair salon without paying. Upon dashing on one woman after an expensive dinner, she said she waited for about 10 minutes until such time as she realized what had happened. The restaurant manager realized that both the restaurant and the woman were scammed by the dine-and-dash dater. The restaurant picked up the tab. Another woman said that he didn’t look at all like his pictures that were posted on dating sites.
Apparently the man is unable to pay for an attorney too. He is represented by an assistant public defender who he has already asked to have removed from the case. His request was denied, and he’s now considering acting as his own attorney.
We’ve probably all been bullied at one time or another, and some of us might have even been cyber-bullied. Some examples of cyber-bullying might include text messages, emails or social media posts that operate to threaten, harass, intimidate, embarrass or otherwise harm a recipient.
Facing an Enhanced Charge
According to the American Bar Association Journal, one Twitter user recently sent another user a GIF with a strobe effect. It was accompanied by the message, “You deserve a seizure.” The sender knew that the recipient was an epileptic. Strobe lights can cause seizures in a small minority of epileptics. Indeed, the recipient went into a seizure. The sender has now been arrested on federal cyberstalking charges. That charge was dismissed, but the sender still faces another charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in state court. Prosecutors are calling the bullying an enhanced hate-crime.
A Physical Tool
There’s still another case that’s pending against the sender in federal court, and that’s a lawsuit based on the civil tort theory of battery. In its simplest sense, battery involves harmful or offensive contact with the plaintiff’s person coupled with the intent to do so. That definition dates back before the Mayflower. In the 21st century, battery isn’t always thought of as a violent physical blow or groping though. As per the strobe case, it was held that the GIF was a physical tool that would have “the same effect as any person with the plaintiff’s condition.” In support of his decision, the federal judge stated that past cases involving second-hand smoke, electrical shocks or loud noise can also constitute a battery. Much like a laser causing blindness, or a deafening noise, direct harmful or offensive contact need not be made.
What the sender never realized is that battery is an intentional tort. Intentional torts are generally not covered by insurance or dischargeable in bankruptcy. On top of that, punitive damages are allowed in personal in cases involving intentional torts. The sender is likely to learn a lesson from the school of hard knocks in this case. He’s likely to be in for a long payoff.
Harvard University has one of the best academic reputations in the world. Students from all walks of life compete to be admitted to this prestigious institution. However, some don’t think that Harvard is treating everyone the same during its admission process.
Students For Fair Admissions is claiming that Harvard is biased when it comes to admitting Asian-Americans to the school. According to a CNN news report, the group is contending that Harvard admits fewer Asian-American students than it should because the school gives this group of students low marks when considering the admissions criteria of personality and likability.
No one on either side of the lawsuit contends that if academic achievement were the sole criteria for Harvard admission that Asian-Americans would have a higher level of representation within the student body. One study has shown that if academics were the sole criteria, 43 percent of students at Harvard would be Asian-Americans.
When a student’s extracurricular activities and their personal ratings were added into the admissions criteria mix, the number of Asian-American students would be 26 percent of the student body. Harvard uses an additional criteria that they call demographic that lowers the number of Asian-American students the plaintiffs in the lawsuit contend.
For the upcoming academic year, 22 percent of the student body will be Asian-American. This is half the number that would be admitted if academics were given a higher rating in the admissions process.
Harvard University is aggressively defending itself against the plaintiff’s contention that the institution shows bias in any way toward any group of students. Harvard representatives have stated that the plaintiffs are misleading people by their selective use of statistics. Harvard contends the plaintiffs are not considering data from in person interviews and the essays that students submit as part of the admissions material.
The plaintiffs’ lawsuit is stating that Harvard is violating federal laws. They contend that their Title VI Civil Rights Act rights are being violated by Harvard’s admissions policy. According to that act, an institution that receives any type of federal funding is barred from any type of discrimination against people of different races or ethnic groups.
The judge is the case is currently looking at data presented to him by the plaintiffs in the case. The judge will determine later in the year if the case has merit and will proceed to trial.
Just a few weeks after a decision by the US Supreme Court that may allow other states to pass legislation to legalize sports betting, gamblers are now on their toes. They have been given the go-ahead to place thousands of dollars in sports bets miles away from the Sin City. The Governor of New York, Phil Murphy, signed a law that would allow sports betting in the state on Monday. The race tracks and Casinos in New Jersey are expected to begin accepting betting in games later in the week. It is also anticipated that the Monmouth Park track will open legal betting as early as Thursday this week at 10:30 a.m. The Park track is located just a one and a half hour drive from Philadelphia and New York.
This was according to a report that was released by NJ.com. Lawmakers had enacted draft legislation that gave authorization to sports betting in the state of New Jersey a week ago. However, the bill did not take effect immediately as the state governor had to sign it for it become law. In the meantime, a chance to become the first state apart from Nevada to legalize sports gambling was missed by New Jersey. On Tuesday of last week, the state of Delaware started accepting sports bets on single competitions in their casinos. The activities in Delaware include sports betting in Delaware Park and Dover Downs. Other joints that offer legal sports betting in Delaware include Harrington Casino and Raceway, Murphy’s Race and Sports Book, the Casino at Delaware Park and the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.
There are other colleges and professional sports where bets are being accepted. They include soccer, hockey, golf, boxing/MMA, basketball, baseball and auto racing. Sports betting will be legal for most collegiate and professional sporting events in the state of New Jersey. However, wagers cannot be included in sporting events that involve high school students. Sports betting will also not be allowed in athletic games involving teams from New Jersey and the ones taking place in the state. This means that you are allowed to bet on a Georgia or Alabama game that was being played in stadiums inside New Jersey. However, you can never put a bet on Rutgers regardless of where their game is being played. The question of when sports gambling will be readily available in New Jersey remains unclear. Sports betting will also be prohibited in the Atlantic City casino.
The vision of power that President Donald Trump has is so extensive that it would dwarf any delusions of grandeur by President Richard Nixon. The lawyers that work for the US president have drafted a memo that advocates for unbridled presidential powers against special counsel Robert S. Mueller. The memo goes far beyond what the biggest fans of unitary executive power would have had wild dreams about. The presidential powers advocated for by the memo goes beyond the boundaries of even the power fanatics like the late Judge of the US Supreme Court Antonin Scalia. In retrospect, implementing the proposal by the Trump attorneys would essentially mean that the US president would be above the law.
The claim of limitless power by the lawyers who work for Donald Trump means that the president can defy subpoenas issued by the Robert Mueller investigation on any involvement or cooperation with Russian intelligence or the Kremlin itself. It would also mean that the president was immune to charges of obstruction of justice about the firing of the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) James Comey. By being the senior most law enforcement officer, such actions would never amount to obstruction of justice. Both legally and constitutionally any obstruction by the chief law enforcement officer would mean that that the president was obstructing himself.
This was according to a letter that was drafted by attorneys Jay Sekulow and John Dowd to the Mueller investigation team earlier this year in January. The arguments that have been presented by these two lawyers are unconstitutional and laughable to anyone who has been schooled on matters of law. However, the elephant in the room is who will have the courage to stop the two lawyers from drawing a curtain of infallibility around the US President. As long as the Republican Party is at the helm of Capitol Hill, Congress will not be in a position to stop one of their own in his tracks.
The Republican legislators have been steadfast in their support for the punitive policies by President Donald Trump. Moreover, the leaders of the conservative party are also terrified of alienating the hardcore supporters of the president. Perhaps the Supreme Court might act to save the US from a constitutional dictatorship from the Trump administration. However, it is worthy of note that President Trump is only a Supreme Court judge vacancy away from swaying the highest court in the land to the far-right.
Many far right leaders are finding themselves being attacked as the slew of lawsuits are being file because of Heather Heyer’s death and other conspiracies. Miss Heyer would have been celebrating her 33rd birthday this week. Instead, she was hit by a car during a summer protest last year. She was in Virginia protesting against the neo-Nazis and other white supremacists. This year, just last week, many lawyers were seeking to get a federal court judge who organizes these types of rallies where she was killed to be held accountable.
This case could end up leaving prominent and popular white nationalists like Richard Spencer in ruins. However, this case would also be an example of a much broader legal offense being aimed at the “alt-right” movement. Just nine months since the summer death of Heather prompted this, there is a sign that things are changing. Hate groups are running out of cash and are finding themselves quickly being banished from certain social media groups. Many of these groups are also beginning to turn against each other as well.
There is a legal strategy at play in all of this, says David Denielli. He is the deputy legal director for the SPCL or Southern Poverty and Law Center. He feels this strategy is going to send these hate groups into a full disarray and have them struggling to place the blame against each other. All in all, these legal theories are being started as tools to try and make people accountable for their actions.
When Donald Trump was elected in November of 2016, many people viewed that as the ultimate catalyst for the white nationalism empowerment movement. Just days following him being elected, Spencer was blocks away from the White House yelling “Hail Trump!” and was seen leading many supporters with salutes similar to the Nazis.
The far right has found themselves in many legal battles before and have threatened to file bankruptcy. A benchmark case showing this was back in 2000 when more than $6 million was awarded during a case to a woman named Victoria Keenan and her young son. They were attacked outside of Idaho headquarters by guards of a group of white supremacists for the Aryan Nations. This legal case forced the leader, Richard Butler, to have to turn over his 20-acre compound to the woman and her son. They used it to sell to a philanthropist who later donated it.
Celebrities may be accused of using jewelry and fashions to promote themselves, but one star is actually in trouble for inadequate promotion. The controversy centers around actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who is facing legal action from a British jewelry company that claims she has not done enough to promote its products.
Named after the actress, the new line of jewelry was produced by Kat Florence Design. In its breach of contract lawsuit filed in a U.S. federal court in New York, the company stated that Parker failed to fulfill the obligations stated in her contract, which promised her $5 million plus 10 percent of the company’s jewelry sales. The company claimed that after her initial involvement in the project and receipt of her payment, the actress failed to carry out her end of the agreement. She reportedly did no work for the company for a period of five months and did not even attend the party that was intended to help launch the jewelry line.
According to her contract, Parker was to have participated in numerous promotional events, including interviews, photographic sessions and an appearance at the opening of the company’s store in London. The store was established for the specific purpose of displaying the jewelry, but its subsequent closure was blamed directly on the inaction of Parker. Kat Florence further claimed that her inactivity has cost the company millions of dollars and essentially doomed the jewelry project. The lawsuit has targeted Parker and Tandu Productions, the company she created.
In successful breach of contract lawsuits, defendants can be forced to pay monetary damages or may even be required to carry out their required commitments. In this case, Kat Florence is demanding financial compensation for the losses it has incurred in the jewelry project. It has also asked for compensatory damages, which are intended to return an aggrieved party to the way it was prior to a conflict. The lawsuit can be read in its entirety at www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/sjp-jewel.pdf.
Parker gained fame for portrayal of the character Carrie Bradshaw in the television series “Sex and the City,” which was in production from 1998 to 2004. Additionally, she has been associated with a variety of products, including her own perfume and her own line of fashions. Her promotional work included a $38 million contract with the Gap clothing store.
Attorney John Dowd said he had enough, and White House lawyer Ty Cobb is unhooking his legal wagon from the Trump legal train this month. It sounds like Trump needs a fresh group of lawyers who are itching to make a name for themselves in the world of high-profile legal cases. And it sounds like he found at least one of those legal titans in Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani is already showing his legal prowess by letting the world know Trump paid attorney Michael Cohen back for the $130,000 payment he gave Stormy Daniels. According to some legal experts, Giuliani is trying to say Trump’s campaign didn’t violate any campaign finance laws because it was Trump’s money that paid Daniels.
Giuliani is a top-notch legal attack dog. But when the White House said Emmet Flood, Clinton’s impeachment attorney, was joining the Trump legal dream team, people around the president knew it was game on. Trump’s legal dream team wants to stop Mueller’s attempt to show Trump’s campaign broke the rules. Giuliani, Flood, and attorney Jay Sekulow have strong schoolyard fighting credentials, but another high-powered attorney will also join the team in the weeks ahead. Trump seems to be circling his legal wagons because Mueller’s investigation is getting under his skin and pressing on that one knee-jerk nerve of his.
Ty Cobb wants the president to sit down with Mueller and answer questions, but Trump’s other attorneys are afraid Trump’s “shoot from the hip” answering style could backfire. That would give Mueller what he needs to prove Trump did obstruct justice when he fired Comey, and when Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigations.
All the signs for a showdown at the White House corral are surfacing now that Giuliani, Flood, and lawyer Jay Sekulow are working together. Trump knows Mueller has some dirt to throw against the wall. And Trump hopes his legal attack dogs can save him from the stench that dirt is going to create around Washington and the country.
UPDATED May 2nd, 2018 – In the world of corporate executives and CEOs, perhaps few have a story as surprising and fascinating as Tony Petrello. From his humble beginnings growing up in a working-class environment in Newark, New Jersey, to running the world’s largest land-based drilling company, to helping fund hundreds of millions of dollars in research toward a global neurological disease, Petrello has experienced a truly astounding lifetime filled with successes and turns of fate.
It’s an understatement to say that Tony Petrello’s career has been one of great success. After all, in 2015, Tony Petrello was one of the highest-compensated CEOs in the U.S. thanks to his tenure as CEO of global oil company Nabors. But Tony’s story extends far earlier than his time at Nabors and includes a long list of surprising turns that eventually led him to the level of success he’s achieved today. Tony’s many achievements have been the products of natural gifts, consistent hard work, and creative thinking that’s spanned a diverse career over many decades.
It’s also important to note the ways in which Tony has given back to society, particularly how he’s worked to help children with neurological disorders. For certain, his life is worthy of admiration and emulation. But to truly understand how that level of success in multiple metrics came to be, it’s important to go back to the beginning and find out how Tony Petrello became who he is today.
A Remarkable Student
Tony grew up in Newark, N.J., where he attended public schools. He’s been described by former roommates and classmates as a working-class young man who carried the classic New Jersey accent and the outgoing attitude to match. He stood apart with his passion and willingness to speak out about the subjects he cared about most. His friends and those who knew him when he was young often described him as an extrovert, someone comfortable speaking his mind on a regular basis. Often his sense of humor was on full display, but it wasn’t the aspect of his personality that stood out the most.
When he was in high school, Petrello became downright famous in his hometown for his amazing math abilities. In classic Hollywood style, Petrello was even known to spend his free time writing down obscure equations and proofs on scraps of paper or napkins and solving them himself. While for the time being his incredible prowess was reserved to those in his immediate circle and social setting, that didn’t last long. Yale University took notice, and it awarded Tony a scholarship and the opportunity to be mentored by Serge Lang.
Lang was a brilliant mathematician, author, and professor. Born in France in 1927, Lang became famous for his groundbreaking work in number theory and for penning a series of math textbooks across a wide range of mathematical disciplines. He went on to become professor emeritus of mathematics at Yale, where he met Tony Petrello.
It’s possible that Lang was disappointed when he discovered that Petrello wasn’t interested in pursuing the field of mathematics or academia, opting instead to jump into the world of law.
But while still at Yale, from which he would receive his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he became known for his outgoing personality and strong sense of humor. In fact, Yale changed Tony Petrello’s social life and eventually his entire future in a truly special way. It was there that he met Cynthia, his beloved wife. Cynthia would go on to become a dancer, movie and TV actress, as well as a respected soap opera producer.
After graduating from Yale, Tony Petrello surprised many of his professors and classmates when he decided not to become a mathematician. Rather, he enrolled in Harvard Law School. His motivations for pursuing law rather than mathematics aren’t entirely known, but it’s possible that his boisterous personality and strong opinions made the quiet life of an academic seem less than appealing to him. Whatever the case, Petrello graduated from Harvard Law school in the 1970s and never looked back.
Law or Business?
In 1979, Tony Petrello joined Baker & McKenzie, a major American law firm. There he specialized in business law, especially taxation and arbitration. It was here that he discovered a passion for business, where law and finances intersect in fascinating and thrilling ways. In 1986, he became a managing partner of its New York division. He would function in this role for some time before a turn of fate led him down another path, this one even more unexpected than the last.
At Baker & McKenzie, Tony Petrello worked with a client by the name of Nabors Industries.
Founded in 1968, Nabors Industries is now listed on the S&P 500 and works to contract geothermal, natural gas and oil drilling equipment and projects throughout the world, mainly based on land. From their beginnings five decades ago they have gone on to become the largest land-drilling organization in the world, operating in 25 countries with over half-a-thousand rigs in operation worldwide.
But before all of that, Nabors was just a client that Petrello worked closely with during his time at Baker & McKenzie. And in any other circumstance, it would have likely ended at that. But Petrello had always been someone capable of making a lasting impression, and he did exactly that here as well.
During Petrello’s time servicing the Nabors account, he made an impressive impact that did not go unnoticed by the higher ups at the company. They didn’t’ just appreciate his hard work and re-up their business with his firm. Managers at Nabors were so impressed by Tony’s efforts and powers of analysis that they began trying to hire him away for themselves. It’s a testament to Petrello’s natural abilities in business that with no official business experience or education he was able to make such a powerful impact on a large-scale organization like Nabors.
Nabors lobbied and tried to convince Nabors to join them for some time, and eventually their efforts were destined to pay off. Petrello left Baker & McKenzie to join Nabors as an executive. A budding mathematician turned corporate attorney was headed for a new career. He was set to become a business executive.
Thus, after he’d lived in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, Tony Petrello was off to make his residence in an entirely new place: Texas. For a still-young and east-coast-centered individual like Petrello, Texas may as well have been the moon. But with an eye for adventure and excitement for where his new career might take him, Petrello packed up and headed off to the southwest. The Lone Star State is his home to this day.
Tony Petrello’s Life at Nabors and Beyond
In 1991, Tony Petrello began serving as Nabors’ Chief Operating Officer. In this role he was responsible for Nabors’ daily operations just below the CEO. That same year, he cemented his place at the firm even further when he took a seat on the board of directors as well as the board’s executive committee.
Anyone who’s followed Petrello’s story or knows anything about his approach to life and business can likely guess what happened next. Petrello was so impressive in his role as COO that when the time came, he was considered first in line to take the reins of Nabors.
In 1992, he became the president. From here he began to leave his mark on Nabors’ and the industry with a series of moves that cemented their place as the world’s largest land drilling company and a powerhouse of business success. His achievements in those positions were undeniably helpful in terms of building up the company. For instance, in 1993, Tony Petrello helped direct a $32 million purchase of a firm called Grace Drilling. Also, a much larger transaction in 2010 brought Superior Well Services under Nabors’ corporate umbrella. This attitude towards expansion and collaborative partnerships helped establish Petrello as a savvy businessman who knew how to bring in greater levels of success.
Since October 28, 2011, Tony Petrello has been Nabors’ CEO. On top of that, in June 2012, he was named the chairman of the board as well as chairman of the board’s executive committee. During that time, he’s led the way in several major events within the company and the industry as a whole.
In 2014 the company reached a deal with C&J Energy, wherein they would combine their Completion and Production company operations to create a more streamlined flow of production.
In 2015, Petrello led the company in signing a deal with KazMunayGas, an oil company based in Kazakhstan. This created the joint venture known as KMG Nabors Drilling Company. This opened up availability of a vast drilling field in Kazakhstan known as Tengiz field, increasing revenue for the company both in the short-term and for years to come.
Petrello led another collaborative contract in 2016, when Nabors signed with Saudi Aramco to create a joint venture called SANAD. Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil company, with an estimated market value of as much as $10 trillion. It is the most valuable company on earth, as well as arguably the most profitable. It’s headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and operates the Master Gas System. This is the largest hydrocarbon network anywhere in the world. Petrello and Nabors knew that this was a company worth partnering with
By common acclaim, Tony Petrello’s leadership at Nabors has been top-notch. During the past six years, he’s allowed the company to keep growing and thriving in an industry where the competition is intense, to say the least, at all times. Even as the oil industry as a whole has experienced struggles as alternative fuels begin to increase in popularity, Petrello has kept Nabors at the leading edge of success.
Indeed, Tony Petrello is extremely adept at day-to-day management tasks as well as the creation of long-term strategic visions. It’s this dual focus that speaks to his original prowess as a mathematician. He can see the whole equation, from the details to the big picture, in order to make strategic choices that will eventually lead to a solution.
His legal experience and education have also proven invaluable, as he’s been able to perceive the workings of a potential deal in order to make it the most effective for all involved parties.
In addition to his many duties at Nabors, Tony Petrello has been a director at MediaOnDemand.com. This company represents the newest generation of video-on-demand services that brings enhanced functionality to the on-demand experience. This includes real-time data and updating information including interactive activities and even navigation information. Today, Petrello is now a director at Hilcorp Energy Company. Hilcorp is one of the world’s biggest oil and natural gas companies that’s remained privately-owned, with exploration and production facilities across the United States. In fact, Hilcorp is the largest producer of oil in the entire state of Louisiana. Like Nabors, Hilcorp is also headquartered in Texas.
In addition to all these duties, Petrello also serves as a director at Stewart & Stevenson. Also based in Houston, TX, Stewart & Stevenson is a privately held manufacturing company that produces oil and gas industry-related equipment. They produce everything from swamp buggies for transportation to precise, minor parts for major mining operations.
This level of activity in a wide range of companies shows Petrello’s far-reaching instincts for business. But Petrello’s life is a story of moving beyond business and profits to have a more lasting, meaningful impact on the world. To fully understand his place in the world, it’s important to take a look at Petrello’s philanthropic efforts outside of business and how they came to be.
An Extraordinary Philanthropist
In the late 1990s, Tony and Cynthia Petrello had a daughter named Carena. While this was an incredibly joyful time for both Tony and Cynthia, it came with a struggle that would shape the next decades of all of their lives. At birth, Carena weighed 20 ounces, and she suffered from cerebral palsy. In addition to wide range of other issues and complications, Carena wouldn’t be able to eat solid foods until she was about 7 years old.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that incorporates a range of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move naturally. The symptoms and severity can vary widely, but generally involve inability to walk normally, muscles that are too weak or stiff to function, or overall struggles with coordination. They can also include problems in other areas of development, including vision, hearing, and speaking. In cases like Carena’s, the ability to swallow and experience other sensations is also affected.
After going through the difficult childhood that Carena experienced, Tony Petrello wanted to help other children with neurological conditions. And as we’ve already seen with Tony Petrello this far, he rarely does anything halfway. When he decides to take action, he truly takes action. Therefore, he donated $7 million to the Texas Children’s Hospital, and he also took a seat on its board of trustees. The hospital was able to put that money toward the construction of a complex dedicated to pediatric neurological care. It’s called the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, and it’s a cutting-edge institution.
The Institute treats children from across the country and the globe, and it’s provided hope to countless families. In addition to treatment, it’s also focused heavily on striving to access the root causes of neurological conditions like cerebral palsy. With over one billion people worldwide suffering from some degree of neurological disease or disorder, the institute believes its mission is absolutely vital in improving the lives of people all over the world. That mission will not only have an impact on the lives of those currently living with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders, but also countless people in the future who will benefit from this priceless research.
The institute focuses on collaboration between thinkers and researchers in a wide range of disciplines, with the goal of helping prevent, identify, and treat neurological disorders and improve the lives of those who have them.
Over time, Tony Petrello has used his business acumen to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in charitable donations to this cause, and those efforts are ongoing.
Finally, Tony Petrello is quick to credit luck for many of his accomplishments. However, his friends, his family members, his colleagues, and everyone who’s gotten to know Tony’s powerful work ethic and big heart realize that good fortune is only one small aspect of his amazing life story.
From his beginnings as a youth in New Jersey to his philanthropic work for the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute and beyond, Tony Petrello has spent his entire life leaving a mark on the world. First as a mathematician, then as a lawyer, and finally as a hugely successful corporate executive with a long list of accolades, acquisitions, and philanthropic efforts, Petrello will not soon be forgotten in the world of business or beyond.
The only question that now remains is—where will Petrello leave his mark next? His wide variety of skills, career paths and ventures leave the door wide open.