Through a cabinet spokesperson, Kirkland confirmed his decision but did not explain his rationale for dropping the gun cases. A key Kirkland attorney, Jon Ballis, said he hopes the firm can continue to work with Clement and Murphy on non-gun issues.
“We wish them the best of luck in the future and look forward to working with them in the future on matters not involving the Second Amendment,” Ballis said in a statement.
The ads, which appeared coordinated, appeared the same day the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to strike down New York’s law limiting concealed carry permits to those who can demonstrate a ‘legitimate purpose’ of having such weapons outside the home. . Clement argued the case in front of the judges in November, and Murphy’s name appeared immediately below Clement’s on the briefs.
Clement’s departure from Kirkland & Ellis echoes a similar episode a decade ago when he left Atlanta-based King & Spalding after that company distanced itself from Clement’s work to preserve the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law prohibiting same-sex benefits. couples.
“I am resigning because I strongly believe that representation should not be abandoned because the client’s legal situation is extremely unpopular in some quarters. Defending unpopular clients is what lawyers do,” Clement said at the time. The Supreme Court ultimately overturned his position on DOMA in a 5-4 decision handed down in 2013.
After the abrupt split with King & Spalding in 2011, Clement joined a small Washington-based law firm specializing in Supreme Court litigation, Bancroft PLLC. Lawyers from this firm joined Kirkland in 2016.