Risk Update

Conflicts Allegations & Disciplinary Actions — NRA Accusations, Unicorns & Swimmers

Atty For NRA Can’t Sue Family Biz, Ad Agency Says” —

  • “Ackerman McQueen asked a Texas federal court Monday to boot William A. Brewer III and his firm, Brewer Attorneys & Counselors, from a multipronged court fight that has emerged from the dissolution of the four-decade relationship between the NRA and the firm. Ackerman McQueen alleges Brewer has for months been teetering on the edge of sanctionable conduct, but crossed the line by exploiting familial connections — the CEO of Ackerman McQueen is his brother-in-law — to bring a suit for his own benefit.”
  • “Not only is Brewer representing the group in a suit against his family business but he also played an instrumental role in the conspiracy to destroy the ad agency’s relationship with the NRA, according to Monday’s motion.”
  • “…Linda S. Eads, professor emerita of Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, who said she reviewed the issue and determined there’s no legal basis to disqualify Brewer. ‘Factually, it appears to be supported only by assumptions and innuendo. Also it is based on allegations that have not been factually established,’ she said. ‘It is too early in the litigation process to use such unsupported claims as a basis for disqualification, which is one of the most serious actions a court can take against a litigation party — to cause the party to lose its lawyer.'”

Unrelated, it appears the NRA is suing New York for designating gun stores as non-essential as part of Covid-19 related restrictions. Interestingly, Arizona disagrees, coming down that both gun stores and golf courses are essential.

Next, back on topic, Professor Alberto Bernabe notes on his own excellent blog (linking to two more blogs for those interested in the details, for Inception-like depth, if you want to find the swimming / unicorn particularys): “Recent discipline case based on conflicts of interest” —

  • “I often tell my students that disqualification is a more common consequence to conflicts issues than discipline. Yet, every now and then we see a discipline case based on conflicts. And here is a recent one that got some attention among Professional Responsibility blogs. The case, In the Matter of Foster (3/16/20) involved both concurrent and successive conflicts of interest.”
  • The Legal Profession Blog has more details here; California Legal Ethics also has a story.