If you’ve seen The Dropout, you surely remember David Boies, the weasley Theranos lawyer played by the dad from That ‘70s Show. Boies is not only a real person but, if high-profile cases were movie roles, he’d be Matthew McConaghey, representing everyone from tech companies to sports franchises to Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers to Big Tobacco.


Elizabeth Holmes

(Glenn Fawcett/Wikimedia Commons)

Of course, Boies is best known these days as a lawyer for doomed health startup Theranos, on whose behalf he sued Richard Fuisz’s forehead and intimidated the people trying to expose the company for using little more than a shape sorter with a fancy label to diagnose life-threatening illnesses.


Oracle-sponsored sailboat

(VollwertBIT/Wikimedia Commons)

Before that, he represented another Dropout co-star, Larry Ellison’s Oracle Corporation, when they accused Google of ripping off their patents in the development of the Android operating system. They lost, but the judge remarked that it was the longest civil trial he’d ever endured, so at least he racked up the legal fees.


Way before that, Boies represented Napster in the landmark 2000 case that decided whether what the company was doing was super illegal or only kind of illegal. The judge decided the latter, which is why you have to sit through ads for mattresses between your 16th and 17th listens of “Call Me Maybe” every day.


Boies probably caught the government’s attention when he won a similar case against IBM years before, except he was on IBM’s side. You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, pay ‘em buttloads of money.

Michael Moore

Michael Moore

(Nicolas Genin/Wikimedia Commons)

In 2007, Boies defended the documentary filmmaker against charges by the U.S. Treasury that he’d violated the trade embargo with Cuba during the filming of his takedown of the American healthcare system, Sicko … by ferrying sick 9/11 rescue workers to the country for treatment they couldn’t afford at home. It’s rare there’s such a clear villain in these kinds of stories, but then again, Harvey Weinstein was involved in this one, too.

Big Tobacco

On the other hand, Boies also represented not one, not two, but three tobacco companies, not against vague charges of getting people addicted to their own death but responsibility for the very real death of a specific person. He lost, in a verdict that made it easier for people harmed by tobacco companies to get compensation, but still. That’s the evilest thing we can think of.

Bush v. Gore

Boies arguing Bush v. Gore

(Village Square/Flickr)

Boies has some understandable beef with the electoral college. He represented Vice President Al Gore in the legal fight over the 2000 presidential election (against a lawyer he later heartwarmingly teamed up with against Prop 8), so if you didn’t love how that went, blame him.

Top image: The Walt Disney Company

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