Working For Both Sides?

Over at Calguns Forum, they seem to have discovered that Mike Bloomberg’s Senior Counsel for Firearms Policy, Laurin Grollman, is, according to someone at CalGuns, “the the same attorney who is of counsel on this brief for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. as amicus curiae in support of petitioners in McDonald v Chicago?”

Could certainly be. She wouldn’t be the first attorney that worked for the industry to end up playing both sides.

16 thoughts on “Working For Both Sides?”

  1. Non story on the connection. They probably used that outside firm to shepherd the amicus to the court, ensure compliance with court rules, etc. Keane is likely not in courts routinely given what he does for NSSF so it is smart to ensure seasoned appellate attorneys with experience with and admission into the SC bar to ensure the brief was properly handled.

    Mr. Keane is senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., the firearm industry’s trade association. He oversees the industry government relations program and serves as the industry’s chief spokesperson for legal and legislative issues.

    Now, it’s a real story if NSSF continue to use that firm for future work…

  2. Of course, lawyers are among the few professions that make more money the more conflict that there is. I know some very honest and decent people who are lawyers, but there is a fundamental conflict between being a form of cancer and being a good person. It must be a real struggle to do both.

    1. This is why if there is a continued relationship with NSSF, the firm is ethically challenged but because the firm did a small amount of business on one amicus should not foreclose the ability for said firm to retain the services of a client on the other side of the issue going forward 2-4 years into the future.

      The above is no different than a lifetime non compete contract. Most would see that as overkill for an of counsel representation on an amicus.

  3. It could be something, or it could be nothing. Given what we know at this time, this doesn’t rise to the level of, say, the NRA hiring the same Solicitor General that argued against the Second Amendment in D.C. v. Heller.

    1. I think it depends on whether they are still using her. I certainly wouldn’t hold it against a lawyer for representing their client… that’s their duty. But I wouldn’t want NSSF employing an attorney who’s employed for Bloomberg.

      1. I doubt Bloomberg wants a lawyer who is also working for NSSF either. It’s hard for a firm to be able to balance two clients and typically those who run the firm look at what side their bread is buttered and they typically choose that side in the face of any conflicts. If NSSF only paid them for one small job, then they were free agents for MAIG to get later on in life. Now, hopefully Keane didn’t speak to them about much and they aren’t sitting on important info but I frankly think it’s unlikely Keane knew anything of import back then which isn’t common knowledge today or which isn’t completely irrelevant today given the fast pace of change in this legal area.

        1. Large law firms have entire departments for handling client conflict issues. If there was any chance of the lawyer involved having any privileged info from one client that would be of value to another client, both clients would have to execute explicit conflict waivers before the lawyer in question could even talk to the new client.

      1. “Why won’t you take my case? My money’s as good as anyone else!”

        “Well, sir, I just can’t help but think: What if, through some gross miscarriage of justice, I actually won?”

        It actually happens on occasion.

        (Note: Quotes are roughly paraphrased from one of Orson Scott Card’s books.)

  4. As a lawyer (mostly juvenile and family law) my first thought was they may have just hired someone they thought was good and informed on the issue. It’s pretty common for lawyers to argue one side of an issue in one case, just to take the opposite position in a new one. Could be they hired this lawyer because they were effective for the other side the last time. I have referred people to lawyers who out-argued me, because they would do a better job than me, and I have been referred by the “loser” of a case, actually what was said was apparently something like “my ex had a real good lawyer, you should talk to him.” High praise, actually.

    One of the things that it seems gets missed by people in general is that lawyers are not, generally, personally involved in the issues of a case. Sort of like doctors, there’s a professional detachment (or you go insane). You do your job well, winning is nice, loosing stinks, but it’s not my life, it’s not personal. We actually need that so we can evaluate good and bad cases, good and bad arguments, rather than what we want to win, but what can win.

    1. Why bother dividing humanity into groups of people we can and can’t trust? It would be far easier to use these guidelines:

      “To trust is good. Not to trust is better.” (A certain opera composer said this; I do not remember his name.)

      “In God We Trust. All others must pay in cash.”

      Indeed, I recently attended a presentation that made the case that all accounting, all record keeping, and all writing originated from Sumerian shepards trying to count their sheep; and a whole lot of progress happened because people couldn’t trust each other.

      So, if you insist on keeping a list, why not add “Shepards” to it, while we’re at it? ;-)

      1. Oh, after watching two videos at Boing Boing, titled “Why you should never talk to the police”, I would also have to add “Police” to the list…if we’re still keeping that list.

    1. Word on the street is she was passed over for partner at the firm and went to work for Bloomberg.

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