Risk Update

NRA Law Firm Conflicts Alleged by Justice Department (Texas Revisited)

U.S. Bankruptcy Watchdog Says NRA Law Firm Has ‘Disqualifying Conflicts’” —

  • “The Justice Department’s bankruptcy monitor wants the National Rifle Association’s go-to lawyers barred from representing the gun-rights group in its chapter 11 case, citing ‘disqualifying conflicts’ and previous allegations of billing improprieties.”
  • “Brewer Attorneys & Counselors, a law firm that has represented the NRA in court and administrative proceedings across the country, isn’t suitable to be part of the crew of court-supervised lawyers handling the gun group’s bankruptcy, according to a Tuesday court filing by the U.S. Trustee, which oversees bankruptcy courts for the U.S. government.”
  • “In addition to the NRA itself, the Brewer firm has also represented Wayne LaPierre, the group’s chief executive officer and a prime target of litigation brought by New York’s attorney general alleging rampant financial misdeeds.”
  • “Mr. LaPierre is now separately represented, according to an NRA spokesman. But the prior relationship between Mr. LaPierre and the Brewer firm makes it ‘highly unlikely’ that as the NRA’s counsel the Brewer firm would look into or advocate for any claims the group may have against him, the U.S. Trustee said.”
  • “To continue working for the NRA, the Brewer firm would need approval from the judge overseeing the NRA in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas, where the group sought protection last month as part of a planned move to Texas. Since last year, New York authorities have been seeking the NRA’s dissolution in a separate, continuing legal proceeding in New York.”
  • “The U.S. Trustee said the Brewer firm should have disclosed everything it made from the NRA, not just its fees for restructuring advice. The law firm’s application to be hired as the NRA’s special counsel doesn’t lay out how much it cost to defend Mr. LaPierre against the state litigation before he got his own lawyer.”
  • “The Brewer firm also failed to disclose that it faces allegations of wrongdoing including billing improprieties in the New York litigation and a separate case involving former NRA President Oliver North, according to the U.S. Trustee. The NRA is seeking permission to hire the Brewer firm for both those cases and other litigation while other firms serve as general bankruptcy counsel.”
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