Legal and PR Counsel Clash Over Goldman Sachs

With the US Justice Department’s criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs underway (in addition to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil fraud suit) the once venerable investment banking firm faces a delicate tightrope walk over what it can say publicy in its defense.

Legal counsel has contributed to a public relations failure if you ask Sanford C. Bernstein & Co analyst Brad Hintz. He told The Washington Post on May 16 that when you ask a major law firm what to do when you are under oath you are told to keep the answers very short, don’t offer new information. “If you do that when you are on television you sound very wooden and you come across as if you’re dodging and weaving and that is where Goldman has lost in terms of public relations,” he concluded.

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