Give up gun customers or leave

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Law firms

SCOTUS winning litigants say Kirkland gave them a choice: ditch gun clients or leave

Appellate litigants who established a Second Amendment right to bear arms outside the home in the U.S. Supreme Court are leaving Kirkland & Ellis due to a law firm ruling.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Kirkland partners Paul Clement and Erin Murphy said the law firm offered them a “decisive choice: drop their armed clients or walk out of the firm.”

“There was only one choice: we could not abandon our clients simply because their positions are unpopular in certain circles, Clement and Murphy wrote.

The litigants are forming a new appeals boutique, Clement & Murphy, Law.com, Politico and Reuters report.

The Supreme Court ruled in their case on June 23, when it struck down a New York requirement that “lawful cause” must be shown to obtain a concealed-carry permit. The deal is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. vs. Bruen.

Clement and Murphy are also representing gun owners asking the Supreme Court to strike down magazine capacity restrictions, according to Law.com.

“The willingness of the American legal profession to support and defend controversial clients has made our justice system the envy of the world,” Clement and Murphy said in their op-ed. “The profession must not shrink from its desire to tackle the most divisive issues. We certainly won’t.

Clement, a former US solicitor general, also left another law firm for a client in 2011. Clement left when King & Spalding dropped its representation of House Republicans defending a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriages.

After leaving King & Spalding, Clement joined Bancroft, which was acquired by Kirkland.

Jon Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee, said in a statement that Clement and Murphy were “valued colleagues” and the company looks forward to working with them on future matters not involving the Second Amendment.

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