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Clement Defection Raises Questions on Client Loyalty (Podcast)

June 28, 2022, 7:52 PM

Last week Paul Clement, arguably the most experienced Supreme Court litigator ever, announced he was leaving Kirkland & Ellis, arguably the largest law firm ever. He cited “client loyalty” as his reason for packing his bags.

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Clement left after the mega-firm decided, in the wake of several mass shootings, that it would no longer work on gun rights issues. He said he disagreed with this decision and that attorneys have a “professional responsibility” to represent these clients.

The move raised an eternal question within the legal world: do clients choose their attorneys, or do attorneys choose their clients?

On this week’s episode of our legal news podcast, On The Merits, Bloomberg Law reporter Roy Strom weighs in. He says, at least in civil cases, there’s no ethical problem with dropping a client and that firms have a long history of being selective about whom they represent.

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To contact the reporter on this story: David Schultz in Washington at