Kirkland and Ellis Represents Shirley Sherrod Against Breitbart's Widow. . . for Free

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.



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