Paul Clement wins second amendment case at Supreme Court, leaving law firm

Written by Javed Iqbal

Hours later, he was no longer at his law firm.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, Clements now announced former law firm Kirkland & Ellis in a press release that it “will no longer represent clients in matters involving the interpretation of the Second Amendment.”

The news will come as a surprise to the isolated world of appeals cases, where Clement is considered one of the best Supreme Court attorneys in the country and Kirkland is a top law firm and breeding ground for appeals attorneys.

In a statement, Clement and Murphy said they are starting a new company.

“In light of Kirkland & Ellis’ announcement that the company will no longer process cases involving the second amendment, including ongoing representations of individual plaintiffs, which we have maintained for years, we have decided to leave the company and establish our own company. , where we will continue to serve the full range of our various customers, “said Murphy.

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“We do not take this step lightly. Kirkland is a senior company and we have many friends and valued colleagues there,” Clement said. “Unfortunately, we were given a sharp choice: either withdraw from ongoing representations or withdraw from the company.”

He added: “We could not give up ongoing representations just because a client’s position is unpopular in some circles.”

A source with knowledge said several partners in the firm had expressed discomfort at continuing representations of Second Amendment-related cases following the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas. In the last few days, it became clear that the break was irreparable and that Clement and Murphy would abandon their loyalty to their customers.

Thursday night, Clement and Murphy called their former employer as “the law firm that got tired of winning” in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

“Many companies drop customers or change supplier, as the convenience dictates. For others, the company’s decision will seem like yet another case of agreeing to the demands of the watchdog,” they wrote. “But law firms should not operate like ordinary companies. Lawyers have a duty of loyalty to their clients.”

Kirkland & Ellis described the two attorneys as “rated colleagues.”

“We wish them the best of luck in the future, and we look forward to working with them in the future on issues that do not involve the Second Amendment,” said Jon A. Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee.

The petitioners in the case that was resolved Thursday were Robert Nash, Brandon Koch and the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association – an NRA-affiliated company.

Nash and Koch had passed the required background checks and obtained licenses to carry weapons for hunting and target exercises, but they had not been able to establish a special need for self-defense required by New York law to receive an unlimited license.

Clement said in oral arguments last year that the law makes it nearly impossible for an ordinary person to obtain a license because the standard of “real cause” is so demanding and left to the licensee’s “broad discretion.”

“Good, even impeccable, moral character plus a simple desire to exercise a fundamental right is,” Clement said, “not sufficient.” “Neither lives nor is employed in an area of ​​high crime.”

CNN’s Dan Berman contributed to this report.

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Javed Iqbal

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