Talk:Mayer Brown

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This entry apparently violates What Wikipedia is not Rule 18[edit]

This entry apparently violates What Wikipedia is not Rule 18.

Rule 18 states Wikipedia entries are not to be "A vehicle for advertising. Do not make an article on an item just because you work for a company that makes it, or you make it yourself. You can link to a page about a company if it is to show what companies are important in certain topics. See Wikipedia:articles on commercial enterprises."

This entry appears to have been written by Mayer Brown employees and copies major portions of the Mayer Brown website.

This article does not mention significant negative public information, such as securities fraud litigation against the firm and the federal indictment of a partner.

Wiki20067 (talk) 22:25, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

The article has been "fixed"; advertising elements removed (the article is down to a stub in fact) but there are sources showing notability. -- Atamachat 23:54, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
agreed. Notability seems established and the article could even stand a little more detail. Ronnotel (talk) 01:51, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Added a paragraph regarding Meyer Brown's role in Refco bankruptcy.

Tristes tigres (talk) 20:38, 11 October 2013 (UTC)


A well-sourced and notable factoid about Mayer Brown role in the ongoing campaing against LGBT rights in Russia was deleted without reason; I reverted the deletion. Tiphareth (talk) 20:26, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Tiphareth, Apologies for removing your text without explanation. Here was my thinking: The “Controversy in Russia” text seems tangential to the topic “Mayer Brown.” Since the apparent controversy has more to do with Yelena Mizulina than with this law firm, perhaps it would be more appropriate to place the text within the “Yelena Mizulina" article, perhaps under the “Position on LGBT” section. "Allefe79"Allefe79 (talk) 21:30, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

This factoid is present in Yelena Mizulina article, but it is directly related to Mayer Brown. Also, this article reads now as an advertisement, as if it was written by Mayer Brown employees. There are apparently many controversies surrounding this establishment, omitted from this article because they are not enough documented. The LGBT issue is, fortunately, well documented, and it is probably the single most notable bit of information related to Mayer Brown. Hence its removal can be understood as an act of censorship and whitewashing. Tiphareth (talk) 06:41, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Mayer Brown provided counsel for the plaintiffs in the case that overturned Wisconsin's gay marriage ban. They're not anti-LGBT. One of their partners is well-known for being the gay clerk to Supreme Court Justice Powell when he cast the deciding vote to uphold sodomy laws. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:20, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

More censorship[edit]

Now the section with the LGBT controversy surrounding Mayer Brown was blanked with a comment "This section removed as it is an editorial opinion." Do I see a pattern here? The funny thing is that there is no opinion stated or implied about Mayer Brown in the section, except "allegedly supports LGBT rights, hence breaks the laws instigated by Russian government". I thought that outside of Russia and Islam theocracies supporting LGBT is not a crime or a defamation requiring speedy blanking. Also, the anonymous user person who blanked the section came from an IP, associated with Mayer Brown in the whois database. (talk) 17:31, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

I think it is worth the effort to quote the relevant bits from the whois database, for the history.


NetRange: -

OrgName:        Mayer Brown LLP
OrgId:          MBRML
Address:        71 S. Wacker
City:           Chicago
StateProv:      IL
PostalCode:     60606
Country:        US
RegDate:        2006-01-12
Updated:        2013-05-07

OrgTechHandle: MCS7-ARIN
OrgTechName:   Sherman, Michael C
OrgTechPhone:  +1-312-701-8315 

This is the IP of an anonymous editor who is making changes to this article trying to remove the LGBT controversy. Also, the comment above was mine, I forget to login. Tiphareth (talk) 17:38, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm not related to Mayer Brown, and I removed the paragraph. The material is irrelevant at best to the topic as a whole, it represents serious undue weight in relation to the rest of the article, and it's a coatrack for an issue about which the company is not otherwise known for. I suggest you add this to some LGBT-related article instead, if there is one where it won't be offtopic. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 21:59, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
This issue was really huge in Russia (see the reference attached), hence your claim serious undue weight shows national bias. Also, the WP:UNDUE rule is entirely irrelevant to the issue, because it is a rule about the minority viewpoint, disputed by majority. The article under discussion is not presenting any viewpoints at all, only an important fact that Mayer Brown became notorious in a nation of 138 million people because of anti-gay controversy. I suspect that this level of fame is not reached neither by Mayer Brown elsewhere in the world nor, possibly, by any other lawyer firm in history, hence this controversy is in fact more important than any other issue raised in the article. Tiphareth (talk) 07:57, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
And, by the way, it is entirely expected that (due to the level of attention that Mayer Brown employees already put to this Wikipedia page) that at some point they would hire paid editors, claiming to be unrelated to Mayer Brown, to censor this article. Tiphareth (talk) 08:02, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
First, please don't accuse me of bias when you have no reason or evidence to do so. Second, I was alerted to this by an employee of the company, who wrote to OTRS complaining that the material has no place in the article. But that's no different than if I had run into it myself, or someone reported it to the NPOV board or anywhere else. If you have evidence of your allegations of paid editing, you should either bring them to WP:COI/N or refrain from making them altogether. I did not remove the paragraph because they asked us to, I removed it because it's offtopic, a coatrack and undue weight. Third, this is not something that the company did or didn't do directly, and one employee being tangentially associated with a political issue has no direct reflection on the firm. Someone's son, seriously? If this indeed was a huge deal, I'm sure you can find sources that directly implicate the company somehow, in some way, that would merit inclusion in this article. So far what you have is not nearly enough, so please either improve it, or keep it off. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 00:38, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
We might also add information about this censorship to the article. Isn't it relevant? --alexandrz (talk) 06:52, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing that implicates Mayer Brown in the information that this company became notorious in Russia due to the fascist laws passed by its employee's relative. However, it is remarkable that 'Mayer Brown obviously believes that this information implicates the firm'. Indeed, the efforts that its employees dedicated to removing this little factoid are astounding. I guess there is something fishy (and implicating Mayer Brown) in this, but I have no idea what, in fact, the more I research the more evidence of censorship I find.
Regarding finding an evidence of paid editing, you know perfectly well that there is no way to prove that someone does it, if the person is sane enough to retain a few obvious precautions. However, the market of paid editing in Wikipedia is huge. In light of to Mayer Brown's obvious concern and far-reaching efforts to conceal the ties to the Russian fascist politician, one can be sure that at some point they would hire someone to whitewash their page.
And finally, could you please explicate your demand 'please either improve it, or keep it off'. Of course we could add tons of reference and quotations, because the stuff is huge in Russia. However, this would turn the little factoid of 200 words into a big section, possibly taking over half of the article. This *would* make a little cute factoid into something where you can apply "undue weight" and "coatracking"! I don't think this is a good idea.
If you think anyone wishes to implicate Mayer Brown and fails, you are wrong: there is no wish, explicit or implicit, to implicate Mayer Brown, in ties with Russian fascist politicians. There are just no reliable sources which implicate Mayer Brown. Of course, their own concern to whitewash the Wikipedia article suggests their complicity in crimes, but we have no sources supporting this. Therefore, the best course is to leave the article as it is, and wait for further developments, which would implicate Mayer Brown, or acquit; and to update the article once the information is available. Wikipedia is not for guessing, and not for whitewashing, it is a collection of notable information found in reliable sources. Tiphareth (talk) 20:36, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Come one, the first person who has discovered this information (Russian former Vice Premier Minister Koch) was immediately accused in being part of "paedophile lobby" and underwent a gruelling (several hours!) interrogation by a unit of the Special Committee for Crimes of Extreme Importance! And the guy (Koch) is still huge in Russian politics, still millionaire and writing best-selling books every year or so! Obviously this news is important, heck, is is probably the most notable piece of information about Mayer Brown *ever*. There is *nothing* to discuss here. Tiphareth (talk) 20:44, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Adding more sources will not increase the relative size of the paragraph, thus not affecting the (current) weight. I suggest you add more, Russian or otherwise, in the next few days before I call an RFC. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 15:34, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Upon your request, added a more sources and a bit of development (a human rights defense organization called "Spectrum" is actively pursuing Mayer Brown right now with pickets; they are also writing open letters demanding Mayer Brown's response to Mizulina's son alleged homophobia). Since the business with Mizulina and her son is huge in Russia, there are literally hundreds of newspaper articles. We could keep adding more sources indefinitely. In addition to anti-paedophile crusade, Mizulina is hard-working trying to prohibit abortions, reverse the separation of church and state and put the "spiritual mission of the Russian Orthodox church" in Russian constitution, making quite a few enemies in process. The enemies are usually accused in being "paedophile lobby", whatever it is, and harrassed by Russian police. Tiphareth (talk) 09:21, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Is the "Controversy in Russia" section appropriate?[edit]

Closed as WP:UNDUE due to WP:RS. !votes are obviously very close, but the Spectrum Human Rights Allaince appears to be an WP:SPS and therefore cannot be used to make statements about a WP:BLP. The arguments below that the majority of the content has to do with the mother are very strong. no prejudice or comment about if the content is appropriate on the politician's article. Gaijin42 (talk) 00:59, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This section covers an alleged controversy related to alleged homophobic statements made by the son of Yelena Mizulina, a Russian politician, who happens to work for the company that is the subject of the article. Part of the controversy is that the firm is allegedly LGBT-friendly, yet employs this person who is allegedly LGBT-hostile and whose mother is at the forefront of anti-LGBT activity in Russia. This source in English (which might not be reliable to begin with) for example summarizes it as follows: Mr. Nikolay Mizulin made homophobic statements on his Facebook account that were quickly deleted after his employment with Mayer Brown was publicized. I understand that the LGBT issue in Russia is a delicate and serious one, but ultimately unless reliable sources can be produced that prove the company's involvement in this, the material should be kept off the article, because it implies that the company is somehow guilty by association because one of its 1,500 employees said something stupid. I will note that none of the sources in Russian that I was able to read via Google Translate seem to imply or place any blame in the company per se. Rather, the "controversy" seems to be with Alfred Koch attempting to attack Mizulina by claiming hypocrisy since her son lives and works in societies (Belgium and the UK) where LGBT people have much more freedom and security. For example, running this through Google shows a report on a series of rather snide Facebook posts and tweets about Mizulina and her son. All this is well and good, but ultimately it belongs in the Mizulina biography, not in the Mayer Brown article, which doesn't even operate in Russia. Proposal: Remove the "Controversy in Russia" section, merge whatever material is appropriate to the Yelena Mizulina article, as undue weight and offtopic. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 20:01, 12 December 2013 (UTC)


  • Support removal, as RFC originator. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 20:01, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal. It's relevant to a larger, national controversy that's going on in Russia right now, and there have been multiple responses from people because of it. I see no issue with WP:NPOV with its inclusion, and the section does apply to the company even if it's not representative of the entire company. That's often what happens when negative news is attached to an entity/person. GRUcrule (talk) 20:45, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment You seem to be making my point for me - that's precisely why we don't inflate "controversies" and put them where they don't belong. Infamy, like notability, is not supposed to be inherited. Wikipedia is not a platform for social change or commentary, and neither you nor Tipareth have managed to provide evidence that the company has been in any way, shape or form involved in all this, other than employing the woman's son. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 23:24, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Support removal. This has nothing to do with the law firm. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 05:43, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal. There are human right activists boycotting Mayer Brown because of the LGBT controversy. Removal of the section would amount to censorship of their campaign. The issue is clearly relevant (it is about Mayer Brown's position on the LGBT issue) and notable (there are literally hundreds of news sources). Tiphareth (talk) 15:34, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Speedy remove. Off topic. This is not a notable campaign. No reliable news sources. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:29, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

  • Comment It should be disclosed that I was made aware of this via OTRS by an employee of the company, who complained that the material has nothing to do with the company. I agreed, and removed the paragraph, after which the above discussion ensued. I do not believe taking this to DRN would be productive given User:Tiphareth's position that this is is probably the most notable piece of information about Mayer Brown *ever*. There is *nothing* to discuss here.. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 20:02, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Censorship in action It is interesting enough that activization of demonstrations and pickets against Mayer Brown would bring a Wikipedia editor demanding removal of information about these demonstrations. Now the issue of LGBT persecution is not contained in Russia anymore: it seems that activists are picketing Mayer Brown offices right now (well, within a week at least). Obviously, there are people in Mayer Brown who would pay a lot to suppress the information about controversy, pickets and demonstrations. However, this is censorship, and I see no reason for Wikipedia as a whole to support it. The information is well sourced and notable enough for multiple activists to organize pickets and demonstrations agains Mayer Brown, hence by definition notable. Tiphareth (talk) 08:21, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Just had a thought, after Legobot invited me here and I realized I'd already commented on the RfC. Should (or do) the protests have a page, perhaps closer to a stub? Could then simply link to it on this page with a one-sentence mention of the protests. That might solve both primary issues I've seen raised in comments on this RfC. GRUcrule (talk) 16:33, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Clarification needed. Many of the sources are Russian, so I am unable to assess them. However, I think that the principle here is quite simple: if there is significant coverage in reliable sources which explicitly links the firm to the LGBT controversy, then the material belongs here. If the linkage is sourced only to campaigners or to unreliable sources, then it doesn't belong here. Can anyone clarify what the sources are? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:08, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment @BrownHairedGirl: I went through some of the sources provided. Most of them are attacks on the politician, using her son to shame her. They are completely irrelevant to Mayer Brown the company. Mayer Brown does not even operate in Russia, and has never (as far as I can tell) even commented on this supposed controversy. Keep in mind I don't read Russian, so my method consists of running the sources through Google Translate. @GRUcrule: A link from the politician's bio to here mentioning the controversy would be OK I guess, my objection is to three paragraphs of material here that places the company in a negative light when they have (as far as I can tell so far) done nothing wrong. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 23:10, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment In fact I would point to the Yelena Mizulina article, where the controversy is stated as follows: In June 2013, the writer and former Russian Vice Prime MInister Alfred Koch published an article concerning Mizulina's son that lives in Belgium and works for a large international law firm Mayer Brown, that sponsors pro-gay associations and organizations and is among the hundreds on pro-LGBT rights organizations in Belgium, whilst his mother is waging war on homosexuality in Russia. In response to this, Mizulina accused Koch of being a member of a "pedophile lobby". It's fairly obvious that this has nothing to do with Mayer Brown, bombastic claims by Tipareth and his friends notwithstanding. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 23:21, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Template:Ing If a former vice-PM takes uses his media platform to denounce a company, that is very much to do with the company. If it is reported in reliable secondary sources, then it belongs in the article. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:19, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.