Monday, September 7, 2015

Think twice before retaining "The Liberty Counsel"

The Liberty Counsel, the nonprofit outfit representing jailed Rowan County (Kentucky) clerk Kim Davis, filed an amendment to its appeal of her incarceration for contempt of court. I don't know what precisely the appeal said, but here's how the AP described the organization's news release of Sunday (6 September):
"Mrs. Davis is entitled to proper notice and due process when she is threatened with the loss of her freedom," Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in the news release. "There was no indication that she would be incarcerated. We will be presenting our arguments on appeal and asking for an expedited ruling."
If you're not rolling on the floor laughing, you should be. The whole world knew she could be jailed. Everybody. Really. Even her supporters. The idea that her lawyers didn't know is laughable. And not believable.

Staver, et al., made their claim in a press release, but have they made it in court papers? If The Liberty Counsel hasn't made this claim in a court filing, I call "bullshit" on it. The net result would be that they're not unbelievably incompetent lawyers, but they're trying, in an unbelievably stupid way, to cover their asses in the court of public opinion.

Now on the other hand, if TLC has or will put forth this argument in a court filing, they are either genuinely unqualified to practice law, or they're lying to the court. I haven't read any of their briefs but I find it hard to imagine they're such complete jackasses that they aren't qualified to practice law. Presumably they passed the bar somewhere. Yet would they really risk jail and disbarment for perjury? I find that hard to imagine, too.

Whether this is genuinely clueless lawyering or a flat-out lie, every current and potential client of The Liberty Counsel should be wondering: do I want these guys' help?

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