Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Talking Points Memo has more background on King & Spalding's decision to drop the DOMA defense. This part jumped out at me:
Sources with knowledge of the backlash confirm that one of King & Spalding's top clients, Coca Cola, also based in Atlanta, directly intervened to press the firm to extricate itself from the case.
Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't seem to me that clients have traditionally chosen their lawyers based on the moral standing of the lawyers' other clients. I do support lawyers making moral decisions about the cases they'll take -- or more accurately, acknowledging the moral dimension of those decisions, which is present whether or not they admit it -- and I suppose it's only natural that the moral accountability extends to other clients, but law firms need to be careful here. Coca-Cola's objective is to avoid offending anyone; if lawyers adopt this by giving in too easily to client demands, they will have abandoned a key quality of the lawyer's traditional role: the willingness to offend.