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BREAKING: Paul Clement Resigns from King & Spalding Law firm Over its Decision to Drop DOMA Case

Attorney Paul Clement has resigned from King & Spalding law firm following the firm's decision to drop the defense of DOMA case.

Clement has joined Bancroft PLLC as partner. Bancroft has two former  Bush administration officials as partners, Amanda Terkel reports.


Protests Planned For DOMA-Defending Law Firm

Gay rights organizations plan to protest King & Spalding, the firm that will defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, this Tuesday.

Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:

6a00d8341c730253ef01538df4efc0970b In a statement released this weekend, the Human Rights Campaign said it will be joined by Georgia Equality and other groups at a Tuesday news conference one block from King & Spalding's headquarters in Midtown.

The Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, said it wants to call attention to the law firm's "hypocrisy."

King & Spalding's website says the firm is committed to having the brightest and most diverse lawyers it can find, including members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. It notes that the Human Rights Campaign gave the firm a 95 out of a 100 corporate equality index rating the past four years and that domestic partner benefits are offered for same-sex couples.

"Firms are rightly judged on the cases they voluntarily take on, and history will not be kind to [King & Spalding's] decision to defend institutionalized discrimination," the Human Rights Campaign statement said. "The effect of K&S’s efforts, if successful, would ensure that the federal government is able to continue denying recognition to same-sex couples which includes Social Security survivor benefits, health care for spouses of government employees or even the ability for spouses to be buried together in veteran’s cemeteries."

Lead attorney on the case, Paul Clement used to work as U.S. solicitor general for President George W. Bush and will reportedly be paid $520 an hour for his work.

The GA Voice has details on Tuesday's protest: HRC and Georgia Equality press conference: Tuesday, 11 a.m. Corner Park, located at 15 th and Peachtree Street, one-half block from the King & Spalding offices. King & Spalding is located at 1180 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309.

Defense of DOMA Update: Gag Order on Law Firm Revealed as Pelosi Presses Boehner on Costs of Litigation

King & Spalding's agreement with the U.S. House of Representatives General Counsel Kerry Kircher on behalf of the House's Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to defend DOMA in court, has a gag order, Metro Weekly reports:

John_boehner All of King & Spalding's employees – lawyers and non-lawyers – are barred from advocating for the Respect for Marriage Act – the bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act – in the 112th Congress, according to the terms of the contract to defend DOMA that King & Spalding partner Paul Clement signed on the firm's behalf on April 14.

The gag order might be illegal, according to Jon Davidson at Lambda Legal.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi continues to push Boehner on costs associated with the defense of DOMA, the Washington Blade reports:

In an April 20 letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Pelosi says questions remained unanswered about hiring Paul Clement, an attorney with King & Spalding, to help the House general counsel with defending DOMA in court because Democratic lawmakers weren’t informed of negotiations prior to the contract signing.

“Since Democratic members were excluded from all negotiations, I would appreciate your providing the following information concerning the contract’s transparency, cost, the discount and the restrictions placed upon King and Spalding’s vast lobbying practice,” Pelosi writes.


Among Pelosi’s inquiries is whether King & Spalding won the contract after a bidding process or if the selection of the firm was made as a sole source contract. The Democratic leader also asks how the $520 an hour rate for Clement was determined and the total possible sum of $500,000 for his work.

MetroWeekly's Chris Geidner also looks at the fantasy aspect of the $500,000 cap on the cost of the litigation.

In related news, Focus on the Family is thrilled with what Boehner is doing:

“Ladies and gentlemen, it just doesn’t get any better on a Monday than to hear that the House of Representatives has selected Paul Clement as its outside counsel to take on the defense of DOMA,” wrote Focus blogger Bruce Hausknecht on Monday. “Clement’s resume’ reads like a lawyer’s fantasy: Georgetown, Cambridge, Harvard Law, Scalia law clerk, Solicitor General of the United States, even acting Attorney General of the United States – for a day!”

DOMA Defense to Cost American Taxpayers $500K, Maybe More [tr]
House Files Motion to Intervene in DOMA Lawsuit [tr]
Former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement to Lead DOMA Defense [tr]
DOMA-Defending Attorney Paul Clement's Firm is Proud of its Pro-LGBT Policies [tr]

House Files Motion to Intervene in DOMA Lawsuit

As expected, the House GOP, led by former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement, filed an unopposed motion to intervene in Windsor v. United States "for the limited purpose of defending the constitutionality of Section III of [DOMA]," MetroWeekly reports:

Clement The move, which had to happen by today per the judge's order in the case, was signaled earlier in the day in a series of letters between House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) -- two of the five members of the BLAG. The intervention has been opposed by Pelosi, as well as the other Democratic member of the BLAG, which was noted in the Windsor filing this evening.

Roberta Kaplan, Windsor's lawyer, responded to the filing in a statement by noting, "We are determined to move forward with Edie's case as expeditiously as possible so that the court can rule that all marriages are equal under the law and that DOMA is unconstitutional. Our client, who is not getting any younger, filed her case more than five months ago and it is clearly time for her to have her day in court."

Windsor The lawsuit, in a nutshell: "Ms. Windsor, who shared four decades with her late spouse, Thea Spyer, filed a lawsuit against the federal government on November 9, 2010 for refusing to recognize their marriage. In the lawsuit, Ms. Windsor alleges that DOMA violates the equal protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution because it recognizes marriages of heterosexual couples for the purpose of federal law, but not those of same-sex couples. When Thea died in 2009, Edie was the sole beneficiary of Thea's estate. Because they were married, Thea's estate ordinarily would have passed for the benefit of Edie, her spouse, without the payment of any estate tax. But because of DOMA, Edie had to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate tax."

Said Windsor, 81, of the House motion: "DOMA is so clearly unjust in the way that it treats me as a second class citizen, and I am very disappointed that the House of Representatives has decided to intervene in my case in order to try to prevent me from obtaining a refund of the $363,000 in estate taxes that I should never have had to pay in the first place. I'm sure that the House's intervention won't change the ultimate result since the court will agree with us, as well as with the President and the Department of Justice, that DOMA is unconstitutional."

Read the House Motion to Intervene, AFTER THE JUMP...

Former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement to Lead DOMA Defense [tr]
DOMA-Defending Attorney Paul Clement's Firm is Proud of its Policies Against LGBT Discrimination [tr]

Continue reading "House Files Motion to Intervene in DOMA Lawsuit" »

DOMA-Defending Attorney Paul Clement's Firm is Proud of its Policies Against LGBT Discrimination


Former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement, who is going to lead the House GOP's defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a partner at King & Spalding, a law firm which devotes an entire web page to its LGBT non-discrimination policies.

Clement House Speaker John Boehner's office has so far refused to share its engagement letter with Clement, an attorney who makes more than $5 million a year.

Boehner indicated earlier today in a letter to Nancy Pelosi that he would like taxpayers to foot the bill.

HRC adds:

“The firm of King & Spalding has brought a shameful stain on its reputation in arguing for discrimination against loving, married couples,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “No amount taxpayer money they rake in will mitigate this blemish on the King & Spalding name.”

Reports indicate that Clement’s hourly fees could top $1000, making his role in defending DOMA a pricy proposition.  In fact, it has been reported that Clement received a $5 million signing bonus at the firm, showing just how expensive this kind of representation is. Given that there are as many as nine lawsuits in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA, the bill to taxpayers could reach the tens of millions of dollars.

“Now we know why Speaker Boehner signed on to the right-wing plan this morning to strip money from the Justice Department to defend DOMA.  The price tag for this elite representation is going to be staggering and he’s got to try and find the money somewhere,” said Solmonese.  “This move is a jobs plan solely for high-priced lawyers bent on defending discrimination.”

Former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement to Lead DOMA Defense; Boehner Wants DOJ Funds to Pay for It [tr]


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