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

Liberal groups already enjoy a tremendous structural advantage over conservative groups in terms of foundation support, bricks and mortars institutions and a steady pipeline of youngsters eager to shape mankind to their own image. There’s another often overlooked advantage enjoyed by the left: big law firms donating thousands and thousands of hours to help leftist causes far outside of the American mainstream.

There is no counterpart donation of time and money for conservative causes. Big Law’s ideological “lawfare” completes the architecture for attacks on election integrity laws, springing free Al-Qaeda terrorists and even suing conservative new media pioneers like Andrew Breitbart.

Legal work donated to these causes is called pro bono representation. Once upon a time, pro bono representation was provided to those who could not afford a lawyer after finding themselves in dire straits. Imagine a widow with children being sued by a landlord in an eviction lawsuit. Law firms, acting out of a sense of charity, might donate time to the widow to help her avoid eviction.

In the case of Andrew Breitbart, however, that script is flipped. Lawyers for the monster Big Law firm Kirkland and Ellis are representing Shirley Sherrod against Andrew Breitbart’s widow, for free. After Andrew died, these lawyers substituted Suzy Breitbart in a defamation case brought against Andrew.

Unlike the poor widow of yesteryear, the person receiving the free legal representation is Shirley Sherrod. Remember her? Sherrod is the former Department of Agriculture official caught on camera saying she denied a white farmer the full measure of benefits she could have given him (before later describing a moment of redemption when she rejected a racialist approach to her job). Unlike the poor widow, a farming collective associated with Sherrod’s family was the beneficiary of a multi-million dollar windfall settlement from the very same Agriculture Department.


In the same settlement, Sherrod and her family even received $150,000 for pain and suffering in the racial discrimination case against the USDA even when she admitted on camera she briefly intended to engage in racial discrimination against a white farmer while employed by the same USDA.

The irony apparently wasn’t shameful enough for Sherrrod’s lawyers to decline her case against Andrew Breitbart.

Yannucci (L) and Jones (R) Yannucci (L) and Jones (R)

So enter Kirkland & Ellis lawyers Thomas Yannucci and Michael D. Jones. Sherrod’s morally bankrupt litigation against a widow by Kirkland and Ellis lawyers (working for free) isn’t the only example of pro bono work at the firm. A glance at the Kirkland and Ellis pro bono portfolio reveals a stark degree of ideological homogeneity.