Swartz gets high-powered attorneys

5309 swartz
Elliot R. Peters is an attorney at Keker and Van Nest.
Photo Courtesy of Keker & Van Nest, LLP

Swartz gets high-powered attorneys

Aaron Swartz has a new legal team. The Internet activist accused of mass downloading files from JSTOR through the MIT network has hired top San Francisco law firm Keker and Van Nest to represent him, according to court filings on Wednesday. Keker is a medium-sized law firm specializing in intellectual property law.

Swartz’s Keker legal team will be lead by Elliot R. Peters. Peters notably represented the now-discredited athlete Lance Armstrong when he was investigated for doping by the Department of Justice — an investigation that ended early this year with no charges against Armstrong.

Peters was named one of sixteen “Attorneys of the Year” by The Recorder, a California legal trade publication, for his work representing Major League Baseball. Keker was named “Litigation Boutique of the Year” for 2002–2005 by American Lawyer magazine.

Keker also represented Google successfully in Oracle v. Google earlier this year; Google prevailed and Oracle’s copyright claims were ruled invalid, or in the case of nine lines of code, irrelevant.

Keker’s filing said they do not intend to ask for any schedule changes; Swartz’s trial is currently scheduled for Feb. 4, 2013.

Swartz was previously represented by Martin Weinberg, a sole proprietor in the Boston area specializing in criminal defense.

Peters declined to comment, and did not answer an inquiry of whether he was being paid to represent Swartz.

MIT, when asked in October about its release of network transaction logs of suspicious activity to law enforcement, said it did so to “protect its network.” When asked, MIT declined to provide further information, saying that their policy is not to comment on pending litigation.

John A. Hawkinson

Kory Doctorow over 11 years ago

This is Swartz's 3rd legal team. It shows how desperate he is to avoid being convicted of crimes he obviously committed.

If you read through all of the public legal documents, you'll realize he suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.

Wonder if Swartz has read any of the ancient Greek tragedies? If not, he'll have plenty of time to do so in prison.

Anonymous over 11 years ago

Swartz appears to be defiant and stubborn. His actions were unjustified and illegal. A better course of actions for him would have been to work within the law to effectuate his goals.

On the other hand, he is being "overcharged" -- unfairly so.

My speculation is that there is more than what has been disclosed so far -- especially as far as:

A) The relationship between Swartz, Larry Lessig, and Obama for America. See:


B) Obama for America, Swartz, Chris Young of Keker Van Nest, Tony West -- #3 person at the United States Department of Justice.


Kory Doctorow over 11 years ago

Nice research, thanks for the links! Here's some other points to consider:

1) Larry Lessig and his wife Bettina Neuefeind run the Aaron Swartz Legal Defense Fund at:

2) Swartz's longtime friend and WIRED contributor Quinn Norton was involved in the JSTOR MIT hack and received immunity in return for testifying against Swartz before the grand jury. See Exhibit 1, Page 5 of this legal document:

Longtime WIRED editor Ryan Singel was just forced out of his job for covering-up Norton's role in the hack. See this announcement:

3) Swartz, Norton, and Lessig are all card-carrying members of EFF and the Occupy movement. Ironically, the husband of EFF head Shari Steele runs an aquatic drone company called Liquid Robotics, which has military drones operating in the Strait of Hormuz. Here's the link to the company's website:

Anonymous over 11 years ago

Thanks for the information, I will look into it.

You can read about the disquieting relationship between Keker Van Nest and Aaron Swartz :