(The Times has occupied its current landmark location since 1913.)
negotiate a settlement now pending before the 2d
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Richieri scored what he called a “very satisfying
win” at the beginning of 2007 in the Eastern District
of Virginia. The newspaper won a summary judgment
ruling squelching a libel suit that had been filed by
anthrax poisoning person-of-interest Steven Hatfill
against it and columnist Nicholas Kristof.
The legal department recently has choreographed a
handling the rest. He reports to Chief Executive Offi-
cer Janet Robinson.
Times reporter Judith Miller spent 85 days in a
federal prison in 2005 for refusing to reveal her
sources (among them, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, aide
to Vice President Richard B. Cheney) to the grand
jury investigating the leak of Valerie Plame’s status
As the general counsel role has evolved in a public
company, you almost have to be a generalist.”
ROUTE TO THE TOP
Richieri launched his career as an associate at
New York law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel, where he
served from 1976 through 1982. In 1983 he joined
The New York Times Co. as legal counsel, handling
forest products investments. He was promoted to
senior counsel in 1989 and assistant general counsel in 1993, with a focus on electronic publishing,
intellectual property and business issues. Richieri
was the firm’s deputy general counsel from 2001
until 2005, when he became a vice president. In
January 2006 he became general counsel.
as a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency covert operative. The newspaper’s legal team had litigated for
more than a year to protect Miller’s confidential
Efforts are now under way in Congress to enact a
federal shield law akin to the state laws that protect
reporters under similar circumstances.
The Jayson Blair affair, involving a Times reporter
who perpetrated widespread acts of journalistic fraud,
created another legal maelstrom. Blair and two of the
newspaper’s top editors resigned in its wake.
Richieri was heavily involved in several class
actions spawned by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling
in New York Times Co. v. Tasini, a dispute that cen-
tered around the rights of freelance authors in regard
to electronic publication of their work. He helped
joint venture with Monster.com involving help-wanted
advertising. It is in the post-signing and preclosing
phase of selling the Times Co.’s broadcast group and
television holdings, pending SEC approval.
LEGAL TEAM AND OUTSIDE COUNSEL
Ten attorneys, besides Richieri, compose the
Times’ legal arm. “Well over the majority” of the
legal load is handled in-house, Richieri said.
Two firms get the bulk of the outside work.
Proskauer Rose of New York has an ongoing commitment to tackle labor matters (the Times and the
Globe, like most metropolitan newspapers, are heavily
unionized). Morgan, Lewis & Bockius gets corporate
work not performed inside. Richieri retains counsel for major matters, with some of his colleagues
The Times’ GC is a native of Jersey City, N.J. He
and his wife, Kathryn Obler, are the parents of daughters Julia and Camille, and son Peter. He said he
reads a lot, and still runs.
Richieri received an A.B. degree in political science
from Brown University in 1973 and a J.D. degree,
cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1976.
A BOOK AND MOVIE
The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest
Plague in History, by John M. Barry, and Infamous.
An earlier version of this profile appeared in The
National Law Journal on March 26, 2007.