Meet DC’s Real-Life ‘Olivia Pope’
BY OBIE CHAMBERS
NOVEMBER 30, 2015
Original article appears on the website "Capitol Standard" November 30, 2015 by Obie Chambers
My name is Obie Chambers. I’m a partner at a Crisis Management firm called The Exigency Group. We’re a firm that specializes in consulting individuals who find themselves in what we consider, ‘unique’ circumstances. Exigent circumstances we like to call them, because they often contain drama, and they always need immediate action.
If you’re thinking ‘Olivia Pope’s’ in the hit TV series Scandal, you’re on the right track. I’m not a lawyer. And I don’t give legal advice. What I do, is what’s needed. My partners and I, work side by side with some of the top Legal firms in DC and nationwide, and consult clients from beginning, to what can be if not corralled in time, a bitter end.
Walk with me for the next twelve hours, as the irony of this thing called life plays out. Although it may be another day for me, for some of my clients, it can be an eternity. Crisis Management is like a deck of cards. You never know what you will get, and you must get ahead of a situation before it gets ahead of you. Not doing so can mean a visit/or detainment by one of the various ‘acronyms’ we in DC have become so ‘familiar with. FBI. DEA. IRS. ATF. ICE.
You must always have your poker face on. And, it never hurts to have an ace up your sleeve. Just in case…
A Day in the Life of a Washington ‘Fixer’
6 AM | I wake to the sound of my alarm, grab a protein shake and head to the gym for a workout. I then scan the Washington Post, New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters and Wall Street Journal for crisis situations.
9 AM | Shower, shave, get dressed, and prepare for a team conference call. I’m wearing a blue suit (business is on the agenda for today) and power tie. I grab my weekend bag (even on a Monday), briefcase, and two phones.
10 AM | We’re going to press with an article for Forbes.com and the team needs my input on the latest bill on Capitol Hill regarding prison reform. I try to bring a real-life perspective to the story. After all, wading through 100 pages of a Congressional Bill is as real as it gets.
12 PM | Spoke with a client’s ex-girlfriend. The FBI delivered a warrant for her phone, and seized it because she was texting recklessly about the case her boyfriend was going through. After calming her down and advising her to pick up a disposable, I connect her with one of our Criminal law firms in her region.
The woman needs legal counsel, as well as crisis management. I’ll take care of her aspiring modeling career. The lawyers will take care of her freedom.
2 PM | We secure a speaking gig with a major university for one of our clients. The client is a smart young man. But he’s made some irresponsible decisions. Kid or not, it’s pretty bold to try and hack into ‘government’ computer systems. Especially when you create systems designed to fight Cybersecurity for a living. Besides that, he’s a nice guy.
3 PM | After a 20 minute lunch, I am on the phone for almost two and a half hours with one of our attorneys in the Southwest part of the county. Our entire office is engulfed in this one. A former international contractor with the Federal Government has been ‘detained’ for violating one of the country’s International Trade Agreements. He has no bond, is sitting in prison and is 70 years old. This is going to require some serious research. But, doing what I do, I know exactly who to call. Contacts are everything in the crisis business. So are well charged phones. I need juice!
4 PM | I pull up to the Rayburn Building to hear legislation about Criminal Justice Reform. FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimum) does a wonderful job advocating for those who have no voice. I would know. I’ve been there myself.
6 PM | After walking around the National Mall and brainstorming for what seems like days, after leaving the hill, My partner, Walt, and I discuss current clients, their action plans, and the inquiries that we have in queue. We’ve both received text messages from home. Our wives make jokes about us spending too much time together. We laugh it off, but it’s true.
As I head home I get another text from my daughter about how our cat has actually eaten her homework.
She uses ‘LOL.’
Finally. An acronym that doesn’t require a legal team. There’s hope for the human race after all.