Legal Ethics

7th Circuit Scolds Hogan Lovells for 'Misleadingly' Describing Case in Appellate Brief


In an opinion filed yesterday in redistricting dispute involving the Girl Scouts of the United States, the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court took a well-known law firm to task for its characterization of a case cited as authority for its client’s position.

Hogan Lovells “misleadingly” described a case concerning political parties, the federal appeals court said in its written opinion (PDF), substituting the word “group” for “party” to suggest that the case related more closely to the constitutional argument in the case at bar than it did, Thomson Reuters reports.

This distortion “could not be accidental,” wrote Judge Richard Posner, who authored the opinion for the three-judge panel.

“We stand by our brief and are disappointed by the authoring judge’s characterization,” said partner Lyndon Tretter in a statement emailed to the legal publication.

The diversity case applied Wisconsin law in a dispute between a local chapter of the Girl Scouts and its national organization.

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