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J. Christian Adams

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October 10, 2013 - 5:33 am

Yesterday, I asked: “Is Kirkland and Ellis Pursuing Breitbart’s Widow Pro Bono?”

Today, thanks to the work of Aaron Worthing, we learn the disgraceful answer: “Yes, and then some.”

(Read the first story: “Vampires, Shirley Sherrod Lawyers Seek to Sue Andrew Breitbart’s Widow.” We also learned yesterday that Kirkland and Ellis is attacking North Carolina Voter ID for free.)

Aaron Worthing did what no reporter appears to have done in the last couple of years — simply ask Kirkland and Ellis who is paying for the lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart, Larry O’Connor, and now Andrew’s widow, Susie.

Here’s what Worthing found:

So in the response to my letter, still on background, a person speaking for the firm stated that, yes, this was a pro-bono case. Which I have to tell you, is really odd. Ordinarily pro bono cases are about poor people, or otherwise people who have trouble standing up for themselves, or rarely people who shouldn’t have to hire lawyers — like people seeking to end discrimination.

Sherrod, despite her husband receiving $13,000,000 as part of a Pigford settlement, is getting free legal representation from Kirkland and Ellis. That Kirkland and Ellis takes on lawsuits against Breitbart’s widow and North Carolina over voter ID pro bono tells you a great deal about the firm.

Nearly 80% of America supports voter ID, including the Supreme Court. And nearly 100% of America opposes harassing widows in court.

The firm apparently thought the standing it would gain among clients and the public would be greater than the grief it would get by taking the two controversial cases. Perhaps that calculation was wrong.

Notice how a source at Kirkland and Ellis tells Worthing that the lawsuit isn’t aimed at Brietbart’s widow, but rather his estate. Aaron Worthing dispenses with that B.S. nicely by noting:

But that estate is what she and Andrew’s four children are going to live off of. You can’t pretend they aren’t endangering those children’s future.

Further, the statement that Kirkland and Ellis isn’t directing the lawsuit against the widow is an outright lieRead the pleading that Kirkland filed, which plainly states:

Plaintiff Shirley Sherrod respectfully moves to substitute “Susannah Breitbart, as successor to Andrew Breitbart, Deceased” in place of now-deceased Defendant Andrew Breitbart.

Anyone see the word “estate” in that sentence?

And, as Worthing rightly notes, even if it did appear it wouldn’t matter. The “estate” is how Susie will feed and educate her children. Chalk up the too-clever response to Worthing by Kirkland as an example of how lawyers can become so convinced of the correctness of their position that the realities of life cannot penetrate the misconception. The same could be said of much of the culture inside the Beltway. The realities of life outside the Beltway seem to have no effect on the culture of entitlement, plenty and arrogance within.

Worthing’s discovery that Kirkland is representing Sherrod pro bono means every one of the paying clients at Kirkland and Ellis are in some small way indirectly funding the lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart’s widow. After Worthing’s confirmation that Kirkland and Ellis clients are ultimately paying Shirley Sherrod’s freight by subsidizing the salaries of the lawyers, who those clients are becomes extraordinarily relevant to understanding the lawsuit against conservative media and a widow. Without clients paying sufficiently high hourly rates to Kirkland, the lawsuit against Larry O’Connor and Andrew’s widow could not continue in the same fashion.
So who are those clients? According to Kirkland’s own website, some of them are:
Chiquita Bananas, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Boeing, Chevron, Avanade, Siemens AG, AOL, Hershey, Time Warner, ARAMARK, and ESL Partners LP.
Without paying clients, law firms like Kirkland cannot pursue pro bono litigation, including pro bono litigation against widows. Worthing notes another paying client of Kirkland and Ellis, one with some relevance to Andrew Breitbart:

I did learn that one of Soros’ companies was represented by them.

Maybe Coca-Cola and Hershey can be reassured that some other client is subsidizing the lawsuits against Sherrod and North Carolina. But will conservative media stand by while the widow of one of their own is gobbled up by a heartless, vindictive lawsuit?
I suspect not.

J. Christian Adams is an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. His New York Times bestselling book is Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department (Regnery).  His website is www.electionlawcenter.com. Follow him on Twitter @electionlawctr.

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All Comments   (13)
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Speaking of suing widows and orphans, I came across the name Kirkland and Ellis recently in another connection--- a prosecutor who was castigated by an appellate judge for unethical behavior in a criminal case. The opinion named him at first, but his boss pleaded to have the prosecutor's name removed, so the court whitewashed it out. The unethical prosecutor is now a partner at Kirkland and Ellis.


http://www.volokh.com/2013/10/09/appellate-judges-urge-government-attorneys-confess-error/#disqus_thread, http://www.volokh.com/2013/10/09/appellate-judges-urge-government-attorneys-confess-error/#comment-1077214634

You are absolutely correct. The prosecutor in the Kojayan case was Jeff Sinek, now at Kirkland and Ellis in Los Angeles:
http://www.kirkland.com/siteco...
Here is the news article describing the "sanitizing" of Mr. Sinek's name from the court's opinion:
http://articles.latimes.com/19...
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Checking the docket for the case in question (venued in DC), I see that Susannah Breitbart has been represented so far (in her capacity as Amicus) by Dan Herbst and Eric Dubelier from the DC office of Reed Smith. That's a very, very good law firm - the kind of folks for whom going up against Kirkland will only provide additional motivation. Don't know the arrangement under which they have been representing Susannah. If it's pro bono, major, major props to them. If not, wondering if there is any defense fund set up for contributions? Never met Andy or Susannah but I'm still feeling indebted for what Andy did for all of us on the right and I doubt I'm alone in this.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
The entire Shirley Sherrod tape is described here at the bottom of the blog. Read it and weep. http://clarespark.com/2010/07/18/white-elite-enabling-of-black-power/. No one else got it completely right in describing the tape.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, they are not representing her pro bono, they're doing it pro malo publico
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about some reasonably accessible way for readers to compose a form or individualized response to these underwriters of mischief and evil? I believe that is how the lib sites manage to generate "grassroots" action. Make it easy to do and it's more likely to happen.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm still waiting for an explanation of what Breitbart did wrong. So he showed videos of Shirley Sherrod, speaking in Shirley Sherrod's words? Welcome to the Orwellian Twilight Zone.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, well, well. The Sherrods appear to be swimming in cash and other assets. How about the Breitbarts (Mom and kids) counter sue for illegal harassment and pain and suffering against both the Sherrods and the dirtbag law firm? I'll contribute to a fund started for them to take on these douchebags.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since Sherrrod turned down reinstatement to her job, is this a "process is the punishment" case? Are they doing this specifically with malice aforethought to chill speech from the right?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Countersue.

And include Kirkland and Ellis as a respondent on grounds that they willingly and knowingly brought a malicious and harassing lawsuit on specious grounds with the intent to cause financial hardship. Demand both monetary damages and surrender of license to practice. (This, by the way, was my promised response the last time I was threatened with this kind of crap. Amazing how quickly the threat dissipated.)

The sleazeballs get away with this because people let them.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Sherrods have been riding the grievance-based lawsuit gravy train for decades. They have NO shame in suing Andrew's widow Susie. This really makes my blood boil. #War
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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