Take a look at what is happening today with the WSJ's new Law Blog. This is exciting stuff and presents a model that should be eye-opening to people in both the mainstream media as well as the blog world.
This morning, blogs and news outlets reported on an interesting insider trading prosecution against a former securities trader who bought stock after learning confidential information about a planned corporate acquisition from his live-in girlfriend, an attorney at a major New York law firm who was working on the transaction. According to this SEC Litigation Release,
[O]n or before July 1, 2004, [Lee] Edelman learned about the acquisition negotiations while living with his girlfriend, an associate at a prominent New York law firm retained by Applied Materials. Edelman was present while the attorney, working in their apartment, reviewed deal documents and discussed the transaction on the phone with colleagues. Edelman used this information to secretly begin acquiring Metron shares beginning on July 1, 2004. Several days later, Edelman's girlfriend directly told him that she was working on an acquisition of Metron, but cautioned him that he could not use the information for any purpose. Edelman agreed not to misuse the information. Unbeknownst to his girlfriend and despite their agreement, Edelman continued acquiring Metron shares.
All of the blogs and newspapers that I saw pretty much reported the facts above and moved on (although the San Francisco Chronicle threw in the juicy tidbit that shortly after after he betrayed his girlfriend's trust the boyfriend dumped her, to boot)! There was no indication in the earlier reporting as to which law firm was involved nor the circumstances behind the discovery of the trading.
But now into the fray comes the Law Blog. Presumably leveraging the resources of WSJ reporters or at least the WSJ name, the Law Blog threw this post on the fire earlier today:
Weil Gotshal confirmed to us that it represented Applied Materials in that deal and that the unnamed lawyer in the government's complaint was an associate at their firm. In a prepared statement, a Weil spokesperson said, "Our former associate brought this matter to our attention when she saw Mr. Edelman's name on a list of individuals who had traded in the stock which had been sent from the NASD as part of its routine market surveillance operations. The Firm and the associate then immediately brought this matter to the attention of the Securities & Exchange Commission."
In short, the Law Blog model seems to be pretty powerful and the Law Blog apparently has a nice scoop in Day 3 of its existence.