There is a saying that no good deed goes unpunished. That would apply to this story, where two attorneys won a huge case for their law firm and were let go for it.
The Supreme Court recently overturned a century-old New York state law that required New Yorkers to be able to show “proper cause” to carry a handgun. A lawyer named Paul Clement headed up the litigation in the case before the Supreme Court reports Red State. He is a former U.S. Solicitor General and had extensive experience in Second Amendment appellate cases. With him on the case was top litigator Erin Murphy.
Within just hours of winning the Supreme Court case, Kirkland & Ellis, Clement and Murphy’s firm, put out a news release that stated that it would “no longer represent clients with respect to matters involving the interpretation of the Second Amendment,” reports CNN. And then Clement and Murphy were no longer with Kirkland & Ellis.
According to CNN, “Clement is considered one of the best Supreme Court advocates in the country and Kirkland is a top law firm and breeding ground for appellate lawyers,” so the news is surprising, to say the least.
Murphy said in a statement, “[i]n light of Kirkland & Ellis’ announcement that the firm will no longer handle cases implicating the Second Amendment, including ongoing representations of individual plaintiffs we have maintained for years, we have decided to leave the firm and establish our own firm where we will continue to serve the full range of our diverse clients.”
Clement and Murphy could stay with the firm, and abandon their long-standing Second Amendment clients, or they could leave. They chose to leave, believing it would be unethical to abandon their remaining Second Amendment clients.
Clement said, “[w]e do not take this step lightly. Kirkland is a storied firm, and we have many friends and valued colleagues there. Unfortunately, we were given a stark choice: either withdraw from ongoing representations or withdraw from the firm. We could not abandon ongoing representations just because a client’s position is unpopular in some circles.”
Clement and Murphy called out their now former law firm after the separation, saying they are “the firm that got tired of winning.” Reportedly, some of the partners at the firm became uncomfortable representing Second Amendment cases after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. It seems, then, that had Clement lost, he would still have his job.
Of the two lawyers, Kirkland & Ellis said, “[w]e wish them the best of luck in the future and we look forward to collaborating with them in the future in matters not involving the Second Amendment.”
You would think winning a Supreme Court case would be cause to celebrate in a law firm. Not at Kirkland & Ellis though. They acted with embarrassment and forced the two winning lawyers out. Bottom line, attorneys have an ethical duty to their clients. This seems to be something Clement and Murphy care about, but their former firm does not. Kirkland & Ellis seem to only care about pandering to the woke. Would you ever let this firm represent you?