In Wake of Election, Wilmer's Bill Lee Reveals Troubling Incident

, The Am Law Daily


At a time of political upheaval and uncertainty over the future of civil rights in this country, William Lee, a longtime partner and former co-leader at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, has a chilling story to tell.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Continue to Lexis Advance®

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at

What's being said

  • Woodrow W.

    Hm... Perhaps Mr. Lee should consider going back to his own country. :)

  • Uncle Cholmondeley

    Garry Owen Doolittle: "This whole pretense that this is a recent phenomenon in the U.S. of A. only serves to perpetuate the stereotypes that divide this country." Not sure I understand the statement. Mr. Lee says he hadn‘t heard a comment like this in 40 years. Perhaps he‘s just been lucky or insulated, but for him it IS a recent phenomenon. His point is not that the campaign created bigots and racists, but that it emboldened them to harass minorities and women (and note that this hockey dad didn‘t just make his comment in passing, but actually tailed Mr. Lee afterward). Kudos to Mr. Lee for speaking out. PS I think the "Herb Chambers" response was great, a good response to try to diffuse the situation.

  • Garry Owen Doolittle

    To conflate what may have been (emphasis on "may") a race-specific animus, i.e,, Asian, with the politics of blue state vs red state and the Trump ascendency to the White House is ludicrous. Bigots come in all colors, shapes and sizes, to quote everybody whose voiced an opinion on the subject. This bore may think he has a bone to pick with wealthy individuals generally, and, given the locale and liberal bent of the indigenous population, Chinese in particular. This whole pretense that this is a recent phenomenon in the U.S. of A. only serves to perpetuate the stereotypes that divide this country.

  • Doug Green

    Just in case it is not perfectly clear, Mr. Lee IS in his own country, as is the Honorable Gonzalo Paul Curiel, whom Mr. Trump accused of bias in his Trump University fraud case. Both of these remarkable men were born in America. It was over 50 years ago when the Reverend King famously said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." The Trump campaign has turned back an ugly page in American history - for whatever reason - whether or not he believes in what he has says. He has encouraged the normalization of the judgment of people by the color of their skin. The fact that a person of such impeccable character as Mr. Lee or Judge Curiel would be so assaulted calls upon all of us to speak out and say, no, this is not acceptable. This is not the America we we want. This is not who we are as a society.

  • Corey A. Levens

    The purpose, Patricia, is that even back in August, there was no question as to the hatred that Trump and his campaign were unleashing. And, still, he won (at least in the Electoral College). Whatever reason anyone had for voting for Trump, his followers were implicitly, if not explicitly, saying that this hatred was acceptable; at best, they were accepting it as the price to pay for whatever benefit they saw in Trump and his policies; at worst, that they agreed and supported that hatred. Mr. Lee, as many others have already done, is simply telling us that it‘s real, that they have already experienced that hatred, and (as your comment clearly indicates) vigilance is required to combat it.

  • Romulus Augustulus

    The point, which Bill makes quite eloquently at the end here, is look at what has been unleashed in our society as a result of the statements by some very public officials. We have a toxic atmosphere in this country. I don‘t care if you hate Trump, love Trump, or are ambivalent about Trump. Everyone is at each other‘s throats, be it those on the right or the left. I personally don‘t think Trump is a racist, but he‘s said some incredibly ignorant things, and that‘s allowed many individuals best left to the fringes of civil discourse to jump on center stage. Kudos to Bill for speaking out. It is not an easy thing to do, as evidenced by the anonymity shared by many in this comments section.

  • abcd

    Why don’t you go back to your own country? Better answer: That would be impossible. You can‘t go back to a place you‘re already in. Your question doesn‘t make any sense. You realize that if you ask me any more questions, I‘m going to have to charge you. You don‘t want to know my billing rate.

  • abcd

    “From Herb Chambers,” ...great answer

  • Patricia Johnson

    This happened in August, well before Trump was elected and at a time when Clinton was expected to sweep. What is the purpose of this story?

  • Ed Lee

    should have punched hockey dad in the mouth as he was finishing "go back to your country" sentence. that‘s it.

Comments are not moderated. To report offensive comments, click here.

Preparing comment abuse report for Article #1202772789992

Thank you!

This article's comments will be reviewed.