Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Brady Center's Attorneys Withdraw from Case Under Cloud of Ethical Lapses

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Brady Center's Attorneys Withdraw from Case Under Cloud of Ethical Lapses

Earlier this week, the Brady Center's Legal Action Project attorneys Jonathan Lowy and Alla Lefkowitz withdrew from a Wisconsin lawsuit after inadmissible evidence was published on Brady’s website in violation of Wisconsin’s rules of professional conduct concerning trial publicity.

According to an article on the Journal Sentinel's website, Milwaukee County Judge Jeffrey Conen may have given Lowy and Lefkowitz the benefit of the doubt when he said, “I don't how things are practiced in Washington, D.C., or New York or anywhere else, but out here in the Midwest we have certain rules.”  Judge Conen’s reference to Washington, D.C. and New York was likely due to those being the jurisdictions of Lowy’s and Lefkowitz’s bar membership, respectively. 

While it wasn’t unreasonable for Judge Conen to suppose that the Brady attorneys may have been unfamiliar with Wisconsin legal ethics and rules of conduct, all attorneys are charged with understanding ethical rules in the jurisdiction in which they’re licensed. In this case, the Wisconsin rules Lowy and Lefkowitz transgressed mirror similar rules in their own states of licensure, rules with which they are presumably familiar. 

"I don't how things are practiced in Washington, D.C., or New York or anywhere else, but out here in the Midwest we have certain rules." - Milwaukee County Judge Jeffrey Conen

Wisconsin's rule concerning trial publicity in part provides that “[a] lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.”  This rule is identical to the American Bar Association’s model rule of professional conduct on the same topic: Rule 3.6.  To clear up any potential ambiguity, both the Wisconsin rule and the ABA model rule specifically mention publication of inadmissible evidence as a potential grounds for violation of the rules.  Both New York and Washington, D.C. have substantially similar rules concerning trial publicity.

The Brady attorneys’ behavior is typical of a general apathy shared by many anti-gun activists toward legal rules or principles they find objectionable or inconvenient.  In fact, the Wisconsin case that the Brady attorneys withdrew from is an attempt to punish a Federal Firearms Licensee for the criminal acts of a third party, which is exactly the type of case that Congress meant to stop through passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act ("PLCAA"). 

The PLCAA was itself a response to anti-gun litigators' attempts to get courts to break a centuries old common law tort rule that prevented holding an individual liable for the criminal acts of a third party.  While often portrayed as a special interest immunity to protect the gun industry, the PLCAA did nothing more than ensure even application of this common law rule throughout the United States. This in turn protects firearms dealers, manufacturers and importers, many of which businesses could be forced to close by the mere threat of costly litigation, from frivolous lawsuits brought by unscrupulous anti-gun litigators who put their hatred of guns above their oaths to uphold the law. 

Unfortunately, the withdrawal of Brady’s attorneys does not necessarily signal the end of the suit … or the end of Brady's freewheeling anti-gun tactics.

TRENDING NOW
Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

Friday, November 15, 2019

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

On Friday, November 22nd, the Kentucky state Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary will consider so called “red-flag laws.” Though no legislation has been introduced, such laws usually allow for Second Amendment rights to be suspended ...

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

When the Democrats who are seeking their party’s nomination to run against Donald Trump in 2020 start talking about guns, anyone who supports our right to keep and bear arms knows to be concerned. Of ...

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

As anti-gun as the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have exposed themselves to be, much of the field still gives lip-service to the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Take for instance Joe Biden. The leading candidate’s campaign has said that ...

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

A law designed to protect the firearm industry from frivolous litigation is now in jeopardy thanks to inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this month passed on a petition to review a case ...

Trading Freedom for Safety

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Trading Freedom for Safety

“[N]othing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe,” explained the editors of The Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper at Northwestern University. The statement was part of a lengthy apology published by the editors, ...

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Monday, November 18, 2019

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Tomorrow, November 19 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering Resolution 19-186, which mirrors the failed attempt from September.  

Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

News  

Friday, September 27, 2019

Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

On Sept. 25, the Democrat-led U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a 3 ½ hour “hearing” entitled “Protecting America From Assault Weapons.” That framing of the issue underscored the erroneous notion that Americans need protection from ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Ignoring the constitutional rights of law-abiding Nevadans, on June 14th, Governor Steve Sisolak signed omnibus anti-gun Assembly Bill 291 into law.  Your NRA would like to thank the many lawmakers who stood with our members and ...

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

News  

Monday, November 11, 2019

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

Former Texas Congressman Robert Francis O’Rourke abandoned his run for President last week, once again leaving a void for the most strident anti-gun candidate seeking the Democrat nomination. Even before declaring his candidacy for President, ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.