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Rule of Law

Shirley Sherrod v. Breitbart Update: Big Law Fuels the Left

July 24th, 2014 - 12:49 pm

No Tea Party groups abused by the IRS need apply for pro bono representation at Kirkland. None of the scores of conservative figures who are routinely defamed enjoy Kirkland lawyers representing them pro bono. (Note to Michelle Malkin, give Thomas Yannucci a call to see if all defamation cases are treated equally.)

Kirkland’s website says: “Kirkland lawyers can pursue pro bono matters dealing with a variety of issues such as immigration, homelessness, poverty, constitutional rights, election protection and family law.” It sounds nice, and to some it provides fresh air and credit for billable time, without bills.

This lifeline to sanity provides young lawyers an escape from what my attorney Robert Driscoll called Big Law’s typical “soul-deadening document review[s] for a brief, pro bono, taste of the adversarial process.” And for the lawyers, there is no professional downside to helping the left. From Kirkland’s website:

By treating pro bono work equivalently with billable client work in performance reviews and for compensation purposes, by insisting that our pro bono clients receive the same quality legal representation that our other clients enjoy, and by providing substantial financial support, Kirkland devotes considerable resources to supporting its attorneys’ pro bono efforts.

What this means is Kirkland uses fees from paying clients to subsidize (more often than not) the outside-the-mainstream institutional left. Here is a list of some of those fee paying Kirkland clients.  These outside the mainstream efforts include:

Pro bono attacks on North Carolina’s election integrity laws, including voter ID. Thomas Yannucci, the same lawyer heading the complaint against Andrew Breitbart and now Andrew’s widow, is also on the march against North Carolina voter ID.  Never mind that a vast majority of Americans support voter ID, including a majority of blacks and Democrats.

• Helping illegal aliens stay in the United States.

• Sending 120 salaried lawyers to help left-wing groups monitor polls on Election Day 2012. Kirkland coordinated election day activities with this far-left group. The same left-wing group, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, hassled Tea Party organizations on the eve of the election, ironically threatening them for similar plans to monitor the polls on election day. How far out of the mainstream is the organization? It actually asked the United Nations to monitor American elections.

• Support for a hodgepodge of leftist groups like Centro Legal de La Raza, Public Advocates, Inc., the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the ACLU Foundation, and the Nature Conservancy.

la raza

Kirkland also publishes a pro bono “Corporate Social Responsibility” publication that approaches farce and leaves no doubt that pro bono includes lawfare for left-wing organizations and causes. In addition to heavy doses of “sustainability” and race “diversity” jargon, the document notes Kirkland aided an expansive front of left-of-center causes:

• Aiding Darby v. Orr, gay marriage litigation in Illinois.

• Donating 103,758 pro bono hours, which by the most conservative estimates means donating over $36,000,000 in firm salaries (which had to come from paying clients somewhere, didn’t they?).

• Aiding the radical pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights that seeks to criminalize free speech by members of the Catholic Church through United Nations-sponsored treaty intervention. There’s no mention of Kirkland support of any pro-life organizations, or even health care services to women who seek to preserve life (like Tepeyac Family Center or the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center).  When it comes to the life vs. abortion debate, Kirkland money seems to have taken one side.

• Providing financial support to racialist groups like the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a group regularly on the side of opposing election integrity and making it easier for voter fraud to occur.

• Giving financial support to the Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, a group working to impose gun control in Washington D.C.

• Aiding the anti-GOP and open borders group OneJustice. Kirkland lawyers have been working closely with OneJustice to help illegal aliens stay in the United States.

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There are hundreds of conservative organizations who would appreciate pro bono legal assistance in litigation. There are hundreds more who would benefit from the largess of the Kirkland and Ellis Foundation. It seems Kirkland either doesn’t support these conservative causes, or is too embarrassed to market their support to the public.

In Kansas, election integrity champion Secretary of State Kris Kobach is facing a swarm of left-wing groups in litigation. What is the issue that has so much Big Law time devoted to Kansas? The simple fact that Kansas law requires those registering to vote to demonstrate they are actually United States citizens. Just peruse this eighteen page document listing all of the lawyers swarming against Kobach’s election integrity efforts passed by Democrats and Republicans in the Kansas legislature. This is what big law firms helping causes far from the mainstream look like. No lawfare for a far-left cause would be complete without a squad of Kirkland and Ellis lawyers. And naturally six separate lawyers at Kirkland have stepped up to represent the highly partisan League of Women Voters against Kobach: Susan Davies, Rachel Funk, Jonathan Janow, Bonnie Jarrett, Adam Teitcher and Michael Keats (who “regularly represents” the far-left Brennan Center for Justice).

But ideological orthodoxy in the pro bono practices of many law firms is nothing new.

Over at Eric Holder’s old firm, Covington and Burling, the proudest pro bono representation includes a gang of terrorists housed at GITMO. Once some of these lawyers wrapped up their representation of Al-Qaeda terrorists, they actually went to work at the Department of Justice, including one in the unit that handles GITMO detainees!

Next week, I will be appearing pursuant to a subpoena from Kirkland and Ellis to testify at a deposition in Shirley Sherrod’s lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart’s widow. My lawyer Robert Driscoll wrote a letter to a Kirkland lawyer that is worth a second (and third and fourth) read. I’ll be covering the deposition as well as the litigation throughout at PJ Media. Sherrod’s case, in my view, is an effort to chill free speech by the increasingly powerful conservative media. Here at PJ Media, it won’t work.

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Top Rated Comments   
Here is the danger of hate-speech when it's institutionalized as reasonable and even noble. Institutions have clout and power an individual cannot fight. As go our institutions, so goes our rights and freedoms.

This country is in a great deal of trouble. The sad irony and final insult is these people only benefit from institutions they can't even maintain let alone create. What do people like Sherrod actually produce? What do they bring to the table as opposed to take away? How many others have to bring to the table to make up for her? At some future time a tipping point is reached and there is no more table. Liberalism is the history of the U.S. in reverse, but moving on such a slippery slope too many people can't see it.

The other irony is that the people who clearly see that the most are the very people who think they'll benefit from our demographic overthrow. That's wrong. Were that true they'd simply all move to the Third World. Losers will ultimately be the first to suffer when it's every man for himself. Sneering at the idea of a meritocracy is not the same as it being false. Water may be hard in liberalism but in reality it is wet.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hiiring and promoting Communists isnt a standard. It's suicidal stupidity. Besides Affrimative Action and Diversity Promotion are forcing Leftist agitated hostile minorities into position of power inside all of our institutions and businesses.

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
For me as well SD.

It became impossible to defend the good guys in Chicago. The media pulled so many dirty tricks on my cases. I became fairly well known for cross examination and closing argument...destroying fraudulent cases and fabricated evidence...and for going belly to belly with the hard left.

It became personal. (I once walked into a Barnes and Noble, as a readaholic I was there often in those days, picked up a few books and scanned them to see if it would be one of my weekly purchases. As I'm skimming a book with an interesting title, I read a paragraph that's about me! The title doesn't match the leftist screed. I'm not mentioned by name...but referenced as one would expect as the target of leftists.

Wholly inaccurate, since this author never bothered to even attempt to contact me.

Another time, the local NBC news station called and asked for a comment on a preliminary ruling in a class action case. My secretary put the call through, I was put on hold for twenty minutes. I kept the phone on speaker and kept working.

AFTER I came on...the reporter went on the air and completely distorted the ruling to make the good guys look horrible...and said they tried to reach me...but I was "unavailable for comment".

I could go on...but I was tired of working in a crooked system, trying to fight the hard left, the media and the rigged system. I was winning most of the time...but it was enraging. I predicted it would only get worse...and it has.

I KNOW the far left, small c communists. They are much more dangerous than the average person can fathom. Much more.

I took it home with me, couldn't leave it at the office. I come here to try to do my part. I would offer my services to Trey and Jeff Sessions, but they don't need me. They need a thousand fresh faces ready and willing to protect freedom.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Christian, I love, love, love your attorney's letter and that's saying a lot because I despise lawyers, despite having married one. The manner in which Mr. Driscoll deals with Sherrod's self-important, threatening, immoral hack warms the cockles of my heart. Thanks for sharing.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do hope Mrs. Breitbart is countersuing Shirley Sherrod and those who are promoting her inexcusable behavior. The infinity of civil laws in America make it certain that Mrs. Breitbart has legal grounds. A large, rich firm like Kirkland must have enemy law firms who would be pleased to take Kirkland down?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here is the danger of hate-speech when it's institutionalized as reasonable and even noble. Institutions have clout and power an individual cannot fight. As go our institutions, so goes our rights and freedoms.

This country is in a great deal of trouble. The sad irony and final insult is these people only benefit from institutions they can't even maintain let alone create. What do people like Sherrod actually produce? What do they bring to the table as opposed to take away? How many others have to bring to the table to make up for her? At some future time a tipping point is reached and there is no more table. Liberalism is the history of the U.S. in reverse, but moving on such a slippery slope too many people can't see it.

The other irony is that the people who clearly see that the most are the very people who think they'll benefit from our demographic overthrow. That's wrong. Were that true they'd simply all move to the Third World. Losers will ultimately be the first to suffer when it's every man for himself. Sneering at the idea of a meritocracy is not the same as it being false. Water may be hard in liberalism but in reality it is wet.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I gather they are not representing George Zimmerman, the honorary white Hispanic, pro bono in his libel suit against NBC?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lawfare has been finely honed to devastating effect byt he Left.

Wha the Conservative Movement needs to do is mimic the effect tactics of the Left and use them against the Left.

Outfits like The Thomas More Law Center, and the ACLJ, need monetary support, and lots and lots of it.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Wha the Conservative Movement needs to do is mimic the effect tactics of the Left and use them against the Left."

I agree, but we appear constitutionally unable to behave like them. There's a couple of reasons for that inability. One is the fact that we're not fundamentally a collectivist movement. The Left is about organizing and dominating and controlling groups, which will always outnumber the individual. Another reason is the fact that the way the Left controls and dominates is by organizing and delivering money, primarily "nobody's money" as Eric Sevareid once characterized taxpayer money and money they have extorted from producers like industry. We as a matter of principle have eschewed the use of the public fisc to buy off constituencies for the most part. There are exceptions to that, but its true as a general rule. A third reason is we're essentially trying to uphold the values of a civilized, pluralistic society against the forces of license and the chaos that follows license like night the day. After the damage done by the Boomers to civil society, that's a might hard row to hoe. A fourth is we don't consider politics as "war by other means," to paraphrase von Clausewitz. Ben Shapiro understands this fact and is one of the foremost proponents of fighting the left like it fights us, but we just don't take politics to be an existential pursuit. We're kinda disposed to give it up if it gets to shrill or too exhausting or too demeaning. Not the Left. There is literally nothing it will NOT do to achieve it's goals. In short, we're not overmatched in ideas, but in methods. If you think it's bad now, just wait till the Left finishes propagating it's communications model, the one it used so effectively to elect Doofus against the nation's interest, to all Democratic candidates in all states. Remember that Frank Fahrenkopf's strategic plan for Republicans to take back their proper role in national politics was first the state houses, then the governorships, then the Congress, and finally the Presidency. We are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's also the Pacific Legal Foundation - who make a living fighting big government overreach - and FIRE. Support them early and often. Every $25 helps!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't have much sympathy. Liberals have an advantage also in that they actively recruit like-minded law students into their firms. While conservative law firms only seek out competent and promising lawyers, and pride themselves on open-mindedness and indifference to ideology, leftists go out of their way to hire and promote fellow travelers. You know, for the sake of 'Progress' and 'Social Justice'.

The end result is a profession dominated by leftists. If conservative legal professionals were serious about this, they'd start trying to recruit committed right-wing law students into their firms, the same way BigLaw recruits committed liberals. But they don't.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Won't change. The right has higher standards.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hiiring and promoting Communists isnt a standard. It's suicidal stupidity. Besides Affrimative Action and Diversity Promotion are forcing Leftist agitated hostile minorities into position of power inside all of our institutions and businesses.

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bingo, this needs to happen in all the institutions.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment

This kind of abusive practice is what compelled me to give up litigation 30 years ago now and start negotiating and drafting documents. Within 10 years negotiating simple contracts became just as tedious as dealing with abuses in litigation.

I suspect that were Mr. Adams not a refugee from the Justice Dept well known from his writings, the whole mess would have been more cordial. Or is that too much to hope for?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
For me as well SD.

It became impossible to defend the good guys in Chicago. The media pulled so many dirty tricks on my cases. I became fairly well known for cross examination and closing argument...destroying fraudulent cases and fabricated evidence...and for going belly to belly with the hard left.

It became personal. (I once walked into a Barnes and Noble, as a readaholic I was there often in those days, picked up a few books and scanned them to see if it would be one of my weekly purchases. As I'm skimming a book with an interesting title, I read a paragraph that's about me! The title doesn't match the leftist screed. I'm not mentioned by name...but referenced as one would expect as the target of leftists.

Wholly inaccurate, since this author never bothered to even attempt to contact me.

Another time, the local NBC news station called and asked for a comment on a preliminary ruling in a class action case. My secretary put the call through, I was put on hold for twenty minutes. I kept the phone on speaker and kept working.

AFTER I came on...the reporter went on the air and completely distorted the ruling to make the good guys look horrible...and said they tried to reach me...but I was "unavailable for comment".

I could go on...but I was tired of working in a crooked system, trying to fight the hard left, the media and the rigged system. I was winning most of the time...but it was enraging. I predicted it would only get worse...and it has.

I KNOW the far left, small c communists. They are much more dangerous than the average person can fathom. Much more.

I took it home with me, couldn't leave it at the office. I come here to try to do my part. I would offer my services to Trey and Jeff Sessions, but they don't need me. They need a thousand fresh faces ready and willing to protect freedom.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I enjoy your posts and wealth of first hand info.

Just for info, and you might enjoy. When the Clinton impeachment was going on, the left screamed it was all about sex. In a letter that David Schippers sent me, he laid out 4 major parts of the impeachment, which no liberal that I have spoken to had a clue to. It was conspiracy to obstruct justice, perjury, witness intimidation and witness tampering. All items that goes to the heart of the legal system, but was fine with libs, as long as protecting one of their own.

Best to you
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
We should somehow adopt the British System whereby the Plaintiff must pay for the Defendant's legal fees, in certain cases where they lose. In other words, there should be some penalty for bringing lawfare type actions. Attorney Adams should contact Trey Goudy about gathering together conservative lawyers in a national coalition to fight this.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
No. The British system imposes that penalty, AFAIK, without any finding of "lawfare" on the part of the plaintiff. And from what I read here and see in the real work, it's the "lawfare" lawyers who deserve the blame.

At the discretion of the jury, without review by the presiding judge, the losing lawyer should pay.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Way to go! Thanks for sharing. We too can donate to causes we believe in, such as IJ.org (Institute for Justice.)

The nice thing about helping libertarian and conservative lawfare is that our little help makes a bigger difference compared to no help at all than one more donation would to leftist causes already chock full of lawyers and money.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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