Everyone knew Airbnb would fight the legislation banning New Yorkers from advertising short-term rentals of their homes on the site if it was enacted, especially since they explicitly said they'd sue New York State if Governor Cuomo signed the bill. Now, AirBnB has lawyered up and is suing Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the City of New York. Who did AirBnB choose in this fight, that in their telling, involves the middle class sticking up to big mean special interests? Gibson Dunn, a law firm famous in these parts for telling us Chris Christie had nothing to do with Bridgegate.
Airbnb will be represented in part by Gibson Dunn. Partner Randy Mastro was involved in the action against the fast food wage increase in NY
— Matthew Hamilton (@matt_hamilton10) October 21, 2016
Matthew Hamilton of the Times Union noted that Airbnb has retained Gibson Dunn, which also represented the people trying to rip up the Prospect Park West bike lane, to help them fight what they called "Albany back-room dealing" in a statement following the passage of the law on Friday. Airbnb also said that they would fight for a solution to the problem of illegal hotels in the city "that works for the the people, not the powerful." So they hired a law firm whose partner, Robert Mastro, was responsible for fighting New York State over its requirement to give all-powerful fast food wage workers a $15 minimum wage.
Mastro was also the head attorney on a Bridgegate report that was called "sexist" and "venomous" for implying that former Chris Christie aide Bridget Kelly participated in the plot to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge because of a bad breakup. Kelly recently testified that Christie knew all about the lane closures and had once lashed out and threw a water bottle at her.
Gibson Dunn also represented the powerless plaintiffs in the Prospect Park West bike lane removal: "two former deputy mayors and the resident of a penthouse condo on Grand Army Plaza," as well as the wife of Senator Charles Schumer. Not only that, they represented the plaintiffs pro-bono, which allows for a tax write off.
Elsewhere in standing up against the powerful, Gibson Dunn partner Ted Olson was the lead attorney for George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court case that ended the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election. The law firm also represented WalMart in their class action case when they were sued by 1.6 million women for sex discrimination.
All in all, a firm with a sterling record of fighting for the little guy.