In the end, Paul Weiss reserves its harshest criticism for Hall, who the firm's investigators feel could have done a better job to "guard against conflicts of interest in areas such as hiring, choice of vendors, and transactions with third parties."
"Although Hunter claimed that Hall helped him to be conservative in his decision-making, Hunter did not report that Hall advised him to avoid or disclose the conflicts of interest on which this Report focuses," states Paul Weiss. On the contrary, Hunter claimed that Hall endorsed actions thatin the view of Paul Weiss investigators"created conflicts of interest."
The Paul Weiss report does call for the NBPA to change certain policies, such as installing antinepotism rules to preclude the hiring of family members, and the institution of a ban on the retention of vendors who employ relatives of union employees.
The report also provides a path for Hunter's dismissal by concluding that he failed to obtain proper union approval of his five-year, $15 million contract extension in 2010. It remains to be seen whether or not NBA players will push for a change of union leadership. It also remains unclear how much Paul Weiss was paid for its services compiling the report.
A spokesman for the firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter and a union representative says that such information has not been disclosed.
The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan is conducting a parallel investigation of Hunter's activities and leadership of the NBPA, but has not yet released its findings. Last summer, The Am Law Daily reported on the death of Simon Gourdine, a well-regarded lawyer who headed the NBPA before Hunter and served as the league's first-ever deputy commissioner during the 1970s.