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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Real Reason Why K&S Dumped DOMA?

I haven't seen all of the stories on today's news re: King & Spaulding, former SG Paul Clement, and the DOMA litigation, but I wonder if we might be missing part of why this case became increasingly unpopular within K&S... Apparently, the following clause was in the contract between the House of Representatives and the firm:

[P]artners and employees who do not perform services pursuant to this Agreement will not engage in lobbying or advocacy for or against any legislation … that would alter or amend in any way the Defense of Marriage Act and is pending before either the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate or any committee of either body during the term of the Agreement.

Whether or not there are legal problems with enforcing such a provision against the many employees of King & Spaulding, isn't it likely that internal opposition within the firm in light of this proviso might have had just as much to do with today's news as the external, political pressure? 

Update: This is what I get for not staying glued to my computer. See Huffington Post for more on the contract issues... But if this meme is already out there, how come it's not part of any of today's coverage?

Update, Part II: See also Metro Weekly's coverage here.

Posted by Steve Vladeck on April 25, 2011 at 02:24 PM in Constitutional thoughts, Current Affairs, Steve Vladeck | Permalink

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Comments

Wouldn't the internal opposition have come up when the representation was being considered and the contract was signed? For them to step away now seems more like caving to outside pressure.

Posted by: D | Apr 26, 2011 10:02:45 AM

How common is it for lawyers to lobby against their clients, even without such a provision?

Posted by: Tom T. | Apr 25, 2011 9:57:10 PM

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