Apparently King & Spalding’s new marketing strategy of “cut and run” when faced with politically correct pressure is not a universal success with its other clients: Virginia AG Ken Cucinelli has fired King & Spalding as counsel in matters for which the firm had been retained. Here’s the story. I’ve not located the actual letter, but “sharply worded” seems like an understatement:
“King & Spalding’s willingness to drop a client, the U.S. House of Representatives, in connection with the lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was such an obsequious act of weakness that I feel compelled to end your legal association with Virginia so that there is no chance that one of my legal clients will be put in the embarrassing and difficult situation like the client you walked away from, the House of Representatives,” Cuccinelli said in a letter to Joseph Lynch in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.
Thee firm had been retained by the Virginia AG’s office Sept. 15, 2009. Cuccinelli said the firm was being terminated “effective immediately.”
Cuccinelli said he acted because “Virginia does not shy away from hiring outside counsel because they may have ongoing professional relationships with people or entities, or on behalf of causes that I, or my office, or Virginia as a whole may not support. But it is crucial for us to be able to trust and rely on the fact that our outside counsel will not desert Virginia due to pressure by an outside group or groups.”
He added that “Virginia seeks firms of committment, courage, strength and toughness, and unfortunately, what the world has learned of King & Spalding, is that your firm utterly lacks such qualities.”
If anyone finds the text of the letter please link it in the comments.