In 2003, following on the footsteps of years of dot com success, flashy TV ad campaigns, and boom time excess, Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison, a major Silicon Valley law firm with a heavy focus on the technology industry and an 80 year history of practice, imploded and shut down. The liquidation ended up in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and what remained of the firm ended up at the disposition of Bankruptcy Court.
In August, 2006, the court authorized the Library of Congress’ National Digital Infrastructure Preservation Program to begin archiving Brobeck’s digital records which contain a significant volume of contracts, drafts, memos and documents crafted by Brobeck staff. It was argued that material is historically significant.
From the website : “even if research access to these records is decades away, preservation demands intervention now” and “the artifacts left in the wake of Brobeck – including digital materials documenting the operation of the partnership and the work it’s lawyers did on behalf of more than 10,000 clients – [contain] a wealth of historical information.”
Over the past five months news of the decision has slowly spread and unfavorable reactions have grown from a whisper to a grumble. In December several articles and blogs referenced the Archive.