Is Kirkland and Ellis Pursuing Breitbart's Widow Pro Bono?

I have this post over at Rule of Law how the wicked Shirley Sherrod is now pursuing Andrew Breitbart’s lovely widow Susie Breitbart in court.  Her lawyers at Kirkland and Ellis have filed this pleading, seeking to drag Susie into the lawsuit Sherrod filed in 2011.


But Sherrod’s lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis filed this pleading seeking to drag Susie into the lawsuit.  They are trying to bore into her own personal estate, the estate which will be used to raise her four fatherless children.  The pleading coldly notes:

Plaintiff’s lawsuit against Mr. Breitbart was timely filed, survives his death, and may be continued against his successor. See D.C. Code § 12-101; . . . .(“Except as provided in Sections 11446, 13552, 13553, and 13554, upon the death of a married person, the surviving spouse is personally liable for the debts of the deceased spouse chargeable against the property described in Section 13551 to the extent provided in Section 13551.

Kirkland & Ellis lawyers Thomas Yannucci and Michael D. Jones shamefully top the complaint, and the effort to drag Susie into the case.

So who’s paying Sherrod’s legal bills for the litigation against Susie Brietbart?  Wouldn’t the media have asked by now? Curiosity about funding is not an equal opportunity question.

There are three-and-a-half possibilities for who is paying Sherrod’s bills.


The first, and most unlikely, possibility is that Shirley Sherrod is paying her own bills.  You can count on two things at big law firms like Kirkland and Ellis, expensive art on the walls, and big bills.  The combination of the two has led to a wipeout of once-lucrative careers at Big Law, and the wipeout or merger of many struggling Big Law firms.  Like most everything else in the economy over the last decade, clients are seeking smaller, lower cost solutions with comparable effectiveness.  It is highly unlikely Shirley Sherrod is paying the exceedingly large hourly rates that Kirkland still charges.


The second possibility is that Sherrod has a Sugar Daddy (definition 2).  There are plenty of leftist Sugar Daddies who would relish harassing Andrew Breitbart.  Some of them are wicked enough even to harass his widow.  They probably haven’t read Deuteronomy’s command to not take the garment of the widow, or the call to protect the widow throughout Scripture.  More likely, the wickedness of the act doesn’t trouble them. It’s Breitbart we’re talking about, and mention of his name sends them into a froth.  If a Sugar Daddy is funding Sherrod’s case, then Sherrod ought to say so.  She ought to confess that the lawsuit is a crusade funded by outsiders, and not about justice.

The third (and a half) possibility is that Kirkland and Ellis is funding the lawsuit against Breitbart.  They might take the matter on a contingency fee.  When you are finished laughing, consider the other means they can fund the lawsuit.  Big Law has become notorious for helping left wing causes for free.  They use the money from paying clients, like AOL, Boeing, Walgreens, Avis and others in other matters to subsidize left wing litigation.  That’s how the attacks on voter ID by Kirkland and Ellis are funded.  That’s how GITMO terrorists got free representation at Covington and Burling.

But don’t right wing causes also enjoy a similar subsidy?

Almost never. For example, when a paying pro-family group was engaged by firm on a marriage issue, Big Law dumped the paying client’s case for a gay group they were representing pro bono.  When Paul Clement was representing the paying House of Representatives defending DOMA, the Big Law firm King and Spalding dumped the paying client.  Kirkland and Ellis may be no different.  Their other paying clients, clients that sell you products and you buy, may in the end be financing Sherrod’s wicked case against Susie Breitbart. (See a list of some of Kirkland’s clients here: Amex, Bank of America, Blue Cross, Direct TV, GM, Hershey, United Airlines, Associated Press, Walgreens, Nationwide, Motorola and Samsung).


Clients pay extra at Big Law not only for the expensive furniture and artwork, but also to fund leftwing pro bono causes.

The question Sherrod should be asked is which of the 3 is it?  Is she paying her own bills? Does she have a Sugar Daddy? Or does Kirkland and Ellis use the money from paying clients to finance the litigation, assuming there is no contingency fee?  These are the only three possibilities.  How seriously the media take Sherrod’s lawsuit should depend on the answer.



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