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King & Spalding Loses a Second Client—NRA—over Dropped DOMA Defense

Posted May 2, 2011 8:57 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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King & Spalding’s decision to drop its defense of the federal law banning recognition of gay marriages has cost it a second client.

The National Rifle Association has dropped the law firm as outside counsel, according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. NRA general counsel David Lehman informed King & Spalding of its decision in a letter criticizing the law firm.

“We believe King & Spalding's decision is indefensible and raises serious concerns about its ability to be a reliable and effective advocate for any client facing potentially controversial litigation,” the letter said.

Lehman added that its decision was not motivated by any position on the statute, the Defense of Marriage Act. The NRA had been represented by Paul Clement, the former U.S. solicitor general who left King & Spalding so he could continue to represent leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives defending DOMA.

The NRA decision follows news that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has ended his office’s relationship with King & Spalding. Cuccinelli criticized the firm for an “obsequious act of weakness.”

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