Group says firm of King & Spalding displayed shocking lack of ethics
WASHINGTON - The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today praised former Solicitor General Paul Clement for refusing to be muscled out of defending the Congressional enactment of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and criticized his former firm, King & Spalding, for lacking the integrity to represent a position they consider to be unpopular. Clement today resigned from King & Spalding when their Chairman, Robert D. Hays announced the firm was withdrawing from the case within days of an announced protest of the firm by gay marriage activists.
“Paul Clement has just demonstrated the truth of what many have known about him for years – he is a man of courage who subscribes to the highest standards of professional ethics and integrity,” said Brian Brown, president of NOM. “Mr. Clement has demonstrated what every ethical lawyer should know, that a law enacted by Congress and signed by the President is entitled to a vigorous defense in our nation’s courts. As Mr. Clement wrote in his letter of resignation from King & Spalding, once a representation has been accepted, the ethical lawyer is duty-bound to continue even in the face of protests by a loud minority.”
Brown contrasted Clement’s courageous stand for integrity with the cowardice of King & Spalding Chairman Robert Hays. “In contrast to the principled stand by Paul Clement, King & Spalding, through their Chairman Robert Hays, has demonstrated a shocking lack of professional ethics and shown cowardice under fire. This law firm has shown itself to be without principle,” Brown said. “Representing clients who may be unpopular in some quarters is what lawyers do. The actions of King & Spalding would suggest that they believe an accused murderer is entitled to a vigorous defense, but the thousands-year old understanding of marriage is not, even though our marriage law was passed with overwhelming bi-partisan majorities and signed into law by President Clinton.”
NOM pledged an investigation into the actions of King & Spalding and urged its supporters to contact Hays to express their outrage over the firm’s decision. “We will convene a panel of legal experts and ethicists to determine if any rules of professional conduct have been violated, or if the firm has acted illegally in reaching their decision. We already know they have violated the moral imperative of acting in good faith and fair dealing. If our review concludes that the firm has violated any statutes or rules of professional conduct, we will initiate the appropriate disciplinary complaints,” Brown said.
Robert Hays can be reached by supporters at [email protected], 404-572-4674.
To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of NOM, or Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board of NOM, please contact Mary Beth Hutchins, [email protected] at 703-683-5004 ext. 105.