ROBERTS: His wife is big in Iraq Satellite systems;

Magie Burns
ROBERTS: His wife is big in Iraq satellite systems;
Fri Jul 22, 2005 17:33


Our new Supreme Ct Nominee: His wife is big in satellite systems; her company is targeting Iraq
by margieburns at 11:08AM (CDT) on July 20, 2005

Yet another first for our boundary-breaching White House: for the first time in American history, we're going to have a justice on the high court whose spouse facilitates financing and putting together global satellite systems.

Also, the company in which she is a partner, Shaw Pittman, emphasizes among other things its expertise in facilitating business in Iraq:

We offer one-stop service to clients pursuing projects in Iraq, from solicitation and RFP counseling to working with key government and multilateral agencies, and from initially penetrating the Iraqi marketplace to final project implementation. Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their fields, and at the cutting-edge in a variety of disciplines relevant to Iraq reconstruction. A number have served in senior government positions in key agencies including the Departments of Transportation, Navy, Justice and Commerce, as well as the Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.

Iraq has not yet been able to achieve an integrated communications service (many Iraqis don't even have their electricity back, yet.) By numerous accounts, satellite communications/networks loom as a large unfilled need in Iraq. Jane Sullivan Roberts credentials are solid, and business-wise, her walk in life is largely helping clients put together and get financing for satellite systems, according to her company bio:

Ms. Roberts practices with the firm's communications and global sourcing groups, concentrating in representing clients in sophisticated transactions involving technology. She has extensive experience in representing clients in the buying and selling of space-related goods and services, including companies involved in the development of multi-billion dollar global and regional satellite systems. Ms. Roberts' experience also includes representing clients in information technology outsourcing transactions; software licensing, development, and maintenance contracts; and professional services arrangements. Prior to 1992, Ms. Roberts practiced litigation in a wide variety of matters before various courts and decision-making bodies, including large international commercial arbitrations involving nuclear power plants before the International Chamber of Commerce.

(I like that afterthought re nuclear power plants. Shades of Homer Simpson.)

The following statements by and about Ms. Roberts come from an article titled High flyers, high margins, high society and space VC, in the publication Space Business International (4th quarter 2000):

Shaw Pittman is a composite organization, in which teams of associates, corporate finance partners, technology procurement and transfer partners, intellectual property strategists, corporate deal-makers work together with the clear aim of dominating Washington's high-tech legal world. They've made a good start - hands on involvement already in 25 percent of all metropolitan VC closures in Q1-2000.

Despite the March 2000 downturn in US stock markets, there is still lots of VC money available, says Roberts. But the way the money is channelled has changed - it's harder to fund business-to-business dot.coms, especially where you have to build a brand; and likewise for business-to-consumer deals. But there is still plenty of money left to fund wireless technologies, Internet infrastructure, next generation networking devices and b2b software plays.

╦ťAnd Washington DC is cementing its position as an international hub of the commercial space and satellite industry. In terms of corporate headquarters, we have many major players, including Loral Cyberstar, Astrolink, Skybridge, Hughes Spaceway, Final Analysis, Ellipso, INTELSAT, COMSAT, WorldSpace, and XM Satellite Radio. Not to mention the major aerospace players

Ms Roberts specific targets are the procurement of satellite systems and related services and technologies such as launch services, launch insurance, terrestrial networks, terminals, call centers and billing systems. As a technology transaction lawyer, my role is to use contractual techniques to minimize my client's completion risk, that is the risk the satellite system will not be completed - designed, built and deployed within established performance, cost and schedule objectives. For a company seeking venture capital, it is critical to demonstrate to potential investors that the company is successfully managing its completion risk.

[This link is down, but you can get to the article by clicking cached in a google search.]

A quite good, concise article by Ms. Roberts, on the risks of putting together a new satellite system and attempting to break into the market, is found at

The risks of building and financing a new satellite system fall into three broad areas: market, regulatory and completion. Market risk is the risk the target market does not want or cannot pay for the satellite services offered. Regulatory risk is the risk of not obtaining all regulatory approvals required to build and operate the satellite system, such as for orbital locations allocated by the International Telecommunications Union, spectrum licensed by the satellite operator's "host" or "home" government, and "landing rights" granted in each country that will receive the new satellite service. Completion risk is the risk the satellite system will not be completed designed, built and deployed within the established performance, schedule and cost objectives.

(from Satellite Finance, Issue 16)

Perhaps it will surprise few people that Shaw, Pittman, where Ms. Roberts is a partner, is offering its services for a newly privatized Iraq:

Pillsbury's Iraq Reconstruction Practice is mobilized to offer clients strategic legal advice in their postwar reconstruction efforts. Comprised of lawyers from several offices and backgrounds with relevant legal, industry and regional experience, the team is well poised to support virtually every endeavor in post-war Iraq, including:

Infrastructure development, construction and procurement

Intellectual property, technology and outsourcing services [etc.]

The company's web site does not indicate that Ms. Roberts is on its Pillsbury Iraq Reconstruction Team. A call to the company to inquire whether she has yet had clients/projects in Iraq has not yet been returned. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, the nominee husband's numerous investments also include Shaw Pittman. One wonders whether a Justice Roberts would have to recuse himself on any cases involving Iraq, including cases about profiteering; procedure re detainees rounded up in Iraq; Iraq contract fraud; and/or regulatory or other violations by satellite systems companies that hired his wife's firm or his wife herself.

TrackBack URL:


What background do you

John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court:

Supreme Court Nomination Quotes CONNECT THE DOTS...., Tue Jul 19 23:22
Roberts was born in Buffalo, New York. Roberts's family moved to Indiana when Roberts was in second grade. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976 and received his law degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School (where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review) in 1979.

Harvard bailed out Bush's Harken with off-the-books partnership
Boston Globe: Harvard invested heavily in Harken
Boston Globe: Board was told of risks before Bush stock sale
Read about it in Paul Krugman's NY Times column
The full HarvardWatch memo
Harken board meeting notes (page 1, page 8) obtained by
the Center for Public Integrity in which Bush motioned to
advance the partnership
The Wall Street Journal's investigative story
Reuters: Report Says Bush Oil Firm Had Enron-Like Deal
Washington Post: Bush Linked to Harken Off-the-Books Deal
TAKE ACTION: Sign a petition asking the SEC
Chairman Harvey Pitt to open the books

Deregulation Deception: Harvard, Enron, and
Electricity Deregulation
summary and recommendations
full report
timeline and biographical information

Trading Truth: Harvard's Enron Entanglements
summary and recommendations
full report
technical appendix
myth and fact
Ralph Nader's statement on the report

[05/10/02] Investing on the Edge in the Chronicle of Higher Education
[03/01/02] Group Questions Harvard's Ties to Enron in the Chronicle of Higher Education
[02/04/02] Harvard could face inquiry into Enron links in the Guardian (UK)
[02/01/02] Watchdog Group Wants Investigation on Harvard Official in the New York Times
[02/01/02] Harvard Students Say School May Have Profited by Fund's Short Selling of Enron in the Boston Globe
[01/31/02] Harvard activists group call for Harvard to investigate Enron ties by the Associated Press

What is HarvardWatch?
Our Principles
Contact HarvardWatch
Join our mailing list

As Federal investigations swirl around Winokur and
other board members, doubt has been raised about
the viability of independent investigation, given
Enron's enormous political clout, Winokur's leading
role in the company that manages information systems
for many of the investigative agencies raises a
special set of concerns.

Winokur owes much of his wealth to his role in
reconstructing Dyncorp, one of the Federal government's
largest private contractors. He is a former Dyncorp
chairman and remains a director of the company. At
present, Dyncorp manages e-mail and information
systems for the Department of Justice, the Securities
and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of

Investigators are reportedly concerned that Dyncorp's
control of agency information systems could compromise
their investigations of Winokur and Enron.

more.... Harvard Watch Org.
See Full Report


Dirty Tricks, Inc.:
The DynCorp-Government Connection


The Harvard-Bush Connection


EXCERPT: That research was beginning to illuminate how the drug trade generates profits for Wall Street through the subsidized HUD housing market where Harvard is a heavy investor.

Americans were seen in Bosnia as defenders of the children, as shown
here, until U.S. contractors began buying children as personal sex slaves.

Harvard could face inquiry into Enron links

A group of Harvard students and alumni have called for an
investigation into possible links between an Enron director
on the university's governing corporation and the timely
selling of stock which netted an estimated $50m as the
company's shares declined.

HarvardWatch, which campaigns for more open governance
of the university, admits it has no evidence of insider
trading but is urging the suspension of Herbert "Pug" Winokur
from the seven-member corporation pending the outcome of a
"credible investigation into alleged financial improprieties
regarding the management of the university's endowment".

The university said Mr Winokur, who chairs Enron's finance
committee, was a "valued member" of the Harvard Corporation.
A Harvard alumnus, he has, since 1995, been on the board
of the Harvard Management Company which oversees the
university's $18bn endowment.
Click Here for Full Story

Pamela M. Title, Plaintiff No. 2, and
Plaintiff No. 3, on behalf of themselves
and a class of

* THE LAWYER'S SECRET OATH Lawyers Guild of Great Britain,

Main Page - Saturday, 7/24/05

    Message Board by American Patriot Friends Network [APFN]


    messageboard.gif (4314 bytes)