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NEWS FLASH — Mongolian Law Firm Clones Famous China Lawyer

storm trooper

He graduated college summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Chinese Language and Literature from one of America’s leading universities in that arena.  He graduated from a leading American law school with honors, where he was the law journal’s Articles Editor.

He has published law articles in English and in German in some of the world’s best legal publications, including the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, The Business and Law Journal, and GmbH Rundschau.  He taught International Contract Negotiation at a top U.S. university and he taught law (in Chinese) at Beijing University School of Law.

He was the first attorney invited to China by an independent Bar Association to lecture on U.S. law (again, in Chinese) and he was recently named one of his state’s “5 Most Amazing Attorneys.” He is totally fluent in written and spoken Mandarin and he reads and speaks Japanese.  It is not clear if he reads or writes Mongolian.

The Mongolian law firm of Beyer and Associates [link no longer exists], based in UlaanBaatar, prominently lists at the very top of the “lawyers” section of its website a lawyer with all of these credentials. Beyer describes itself as follows (the bolded and bracketed portions are my own comments/jibes):

We are a professional, ethical [???] and experienced team of lawyers representing individuals, consumers , corporations. We are Mongolian lawyers in Asia practice areas of Foreign Direct Investment , Corporate transactions, Litigation, IP, and Administrative cases.

As experienced Mongolian lawyers, we know our client’s needs, whether it’s regarding corporate tax advise, litigation, court, are the same: quality legal representation

We currently represent [sic] a diverse clientele of individuals, businesses and trusts,

We handle a variety of legal issues, but have a high level of expertise for [sic] intellectual property law.

We understand each client’s situation requires individual attention and solutions. Our goal is to solve each client’s problem using our diversified skills.

This approach allows us to provide superior services, promptness, and creative creativity [creative creativity???], in order to meet our cliens’ [sic] unique needs.

We treat our clients as we ourselves would like to be treated.

Our record speaks for itself [!!!].

So now for the really amazing part.  Beyer’s highly credentialed lawyer has the exact same credentials as China Law Blog’s very own China lawyer extraordinaire, Steve Dickinson! And to add to this truly mind-boggling coincidence, Beyer’s American lawyer is also named “Steve Dickinson.”

We first learned of “the other Steve Dickinson” when a German law firm sought legal assistance from our own Steve Dickinson in helping one of its large clients establish legal operations in Mongolia. Our own Steve Dickinson turned down this work and apologized to the German lawyers for the confusion.

Now I know some of you must be thinking it is impossible for there to be two lawyers named Steve Dickinson with the exact same credentials, with one living and working as a China lawyer in Shanghai for Harris Bricken and the other working in Mongolia, but we did contact Beyer and asked they remove Steve’s name from their website and it is simply unfathomable to think an “ethical” law firm would not have done that by now.

So there you have it, two Steve Dickinsons. Does anyone else find that scary? And why Steve Dickinson? Go ahead and call me shallow, if it were me doing the cloning, I would be thinking more along the lines of Scarlett Johansson or Liu Yifei.

For a somewhat related post, check out, China: Where Even The “Law Firms” Are Fake.

27 responses to “NEWS FLASH — Mongolian Law Firm Clones Famous China Lawyer”

  1. You should start posting that ‘Battsengel Bayarbaatar’ has joined you firm as the head of Mongol Practices. Then when you visit China on business, you can put, “Dan the Khan” on your business cards.
    There’s lots of stuff like that you can do to turn this situation to your advantage. I’ll be sending you Mongol-themed ideas all day, and encourage the rest of your readers to do the same.

    • do you know who is ‘Battsengel Bayarbaatar’? How many such name in Mongolia? I found one practicing IP trademark… and another one doing debt collection service. Are they the same person?

  2. I would be cloning Gong Li…
    Theere are now a few sites claiming to be written by me…They use my posts, but don’t send me the adwords dough…
    Will you have to pay tax on Steve’s income? And shouldn’t he be deducting some of that for Mongolian lessons?

  3. Ethical lawyers? Isn’t that an oxymoron?
    And isn’t this an IPR violation? Or did you neglect to take out the proper copyrights, trademarks and patents on Steve?
    Sorry, bad jokes, I know.

  4. Andrew —
    1. You have met the real Steve and, I believe you will be seeing him today. Ask him for ID.
    2. He thinks, therefore he is.
    3. How do I know you are real? How do we know anything is real?

  5. Andrew (ii) —
    Good idea. Maybe I should just add maybe 100 lawyers to our site, grabbing them wholesale from some top Wall Street firm like Skadden Arps and then talk about all the billion dollar deals we did and …..

  6. Lonnie —
    Just between you and me (I always love it when celebrities say this on TV and have always wanted to be equally ridiculous), there are countless people I would be cloning before I would clone Steve. I did not mean for my two person list to be exhaustive. Gong Li certainly would go before Steve on any cloning list.

  7. chriswaugh_bj —
    “Bad” is too kind.
    And, I just don’t think we can afford to trademark “Steve Dickinson” in every country in the world, nor could we have anticipated the copying would be in Mongolia. Also, you are assuming there is some violation here, when I have made very clear it is cloning.

  8. You know you are doing something right in China when you are being pirated! 😉
    Now, a legal question. How would you go about legally making them to take down the content? I thought personal names and facts can’t be copyrighted.

  9. Mr. Li —
    Copying is the most sincere form of flattery.
    That is actually a very good question and we have had to do this for clients from time to time as well, but every time the offending party has ceased, mostly because with so many people to copy, who needs the hassle of someone who really might sue you. We asked them to take it down and they have not, so I did this blog post, figuring it might shame them.
    The problem here is that this company is in Mongolia and its site is probably being hosted on a Mongolian server. So what are we to do? Probably our best option is to hire a lawyer in UB and sue these guys to get the name removed. I would guess Mongolia has some sort of basic unfair competition laws or misrepresentation laws that probably would cover this. But what are our damages? How many people see their site and somehow get confused about Steve. Sometimes the law just isn’t the way to go.

  10. Given the advice of this blog about things in China one could wonder if this was a clever marketing ploy to restate an impressive resume.

  11. Steve,
    I think it was not nice of you to take that gig in Mongolia without talking to Dan first….
    Having said that I happy to hear you have a clone.
    Confused,
    LaoLao

  12. LaoLao —
    I was waiting for someone to suggest this possibility and I should have guessed it would be you. Of course, what you suggest is possible. I mean, Steve is probably thinking 16 hours a day is just not enough work and Mongolia is booming so why not.
    Your theory has some flaws, though. First off, why did Steve send me the e-mail from the European law firm? Wait, he did it because he figured we would eventually catch on to his dual role and he wanted to preempt that by being the one to alert us. But then, why then did he allow me to send an e-mail of apology to this European law firm stating our inability to take on this really interesting matter? Was this lawyer just a front; a good friend of Steve’s? Was there really no client looking for Mongolian work at all, but rather, this e-mail was just to take us off Steve’s trail? As long as Steve continues working at least 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for us, should I even care about his purported Mongolian affiliations.
    Serious question: Has anyone worked with any lawyers in Mongolia whom they would recommend?

  13. “First off, why did Steve send me the e-mail from the European law firm?”
    To save face of course. Instead of telling you directly….
    Obviously, any one in the right mind would prefer Mongolia’s beautiful scenery, local food, and booming cultural events to a sparse and boring country like China.
    The email, in fact, was a perfect example of the Chinese was of avoiding a loss of face. His cultural assimilation is obviously complete.
    He allowed (manipulated you into) sending the email to show how much you valued him (or not).
    Lastly, I’d like to close my case leaving you with this to think about. MAYBE, just maybe, Steve has cloned you and you’re the clone. The real Dan is ruling a small feifdom on a small Japanese island somewhere….
    The prosecution rests.

  14. LaoLao —
    You are right. My mistake was thinking like an American. But, the way you describe it all makes complete sense:
    1. Steve did rave about his Mongolian vacation and I failed to see the obvious hint.
    2. Steve sent that e-mail from the European firm to let me know indirectly about his new Mongolian post and when I completely misread it, he kept up the ruse so I would not lose face.
    3. The fact that Steve and I have talked and e-mailed and even met in person countless times (he was here in Seattle over the New Year) as though there had been no change, was really his way of trying to ease us all through it slowly. The fact that we met with the lead Chinese lawyer at the Shanghai firm with which we are affiliated to plot out the filing of a massive case in Shanghai (more on this will follow upon its filing), was really just Steve’s way of lettting me know he is through with Shanghai and is UB bound.
    4. I voluntarily dismiss my case, with prejudice.

  15. LaoLao —
    Two things struck me about that article:
    1. It kept referring to retraining the lawyers. Sort of like reeducation camps or something. Why retraining, rather than just training?
    2. Before seeing this article, I did not know Texas Wesleyan had a law school. In fact, I did not even know there was a Texas Wesleyan.

  16. Chris D-E —
    If “legal disputes [in Mongolia] are usually handled there by vodka drinking bouts, fisticuffs, and being dragged around the gobi, tied to a camel by your feet while they encourage it to gallop by shooting Kalashnikovs at it’s arse,” Steve probably should go there, as he would probably prefer that method.

  17. Diggers —
    Sorry for the deletion. You would be surprised (actually, you probably would not be) at how many people comment on that firm or e-mail me about them. About all I can say is that their reputation proceeds them. My firm was contacted by an American lawyer who had worked there and he said he had helped them set up one of their offices pretty much with his own money and then was never really reimbursed.

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