Trump Campaign Loses More Attys From Pa. Election Lawsuit

Law360 (November 16, 2020, 10:06 PM EST) -- Following the withdrawal of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP last week, President Donald Trump's reelection campaign lost three more attorneys on Monday from a federal lawsuit aimed at blocking Pennsylvania from certifying its results of the presidential election.

Less than a day before an expected hearing in front of a federal judge in Williamsport, Philadelphia-based solo practitioner Linda Kerns and two of her co-counsel filed notice late Monday signaling that they were pulling out of the case as well.

Kerns and her co-counsel — Texas-based attorneys John Scott and Douglas Bryan Hughes — didn't indicate their rationale for pulling out of the case, saying only that they'd "reached a mutual understanding that [the campaign] will be best served" by their departure.

The move comes as Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has taken over coordinating legal challenges to the president's electoral loss, the campaign said.

"The president announced Saturday that he has asked Mayor Rudy Giuliani to lead the national legal team, along with local counsel," campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis said in a statement. "Our substitution of local counsel is consistent with routine managing of complex litigation."

The lawsuit filed last week accuses Pennsylvania officials of instituting an improper "two-track" election system that unconstitutionally favored Democrats.

Less than a week after filing the case, however, the two Porter Wright attorneys handling the matter withdrew following criticism of their work on behalf of the president's ill-fated reelection bid.

Porter Wright and other firms representing the Trump campaign, including Jones Day and Snell & Wilmer LLP, have been the target of social media posts from members of the legal community, public interest groups and others urging potential clients to boycott them.

Snell & Wilmer earlier this month withdrew from representing the Republican National Committee in an Arizona lawsuit claiming that poll workers in Maricopa County gave voters incorrect instructions that invalidated their votes.

Despite withdrawing from the federal case, Porter Wright continues to represent the Trump campaign in a slew of other lawsuits pending before various state courts in Pennsylvania.

Porter Wright's withdrawal left Kerns, who has served as local counsel for some of the Trump campaign's lawsuits in Pennsylvania, as the lone attorney on the case.

She looked to supplement her representation with John Scott, a litigator with the Texas-based boutique Scott PLLC, and Bryan Hughes, a member of Texas's state senate.

But three hours after the pair were admitted by U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, Kerns said that she and her new co-counsel were pulling out of the case.

In their stead, Kerns said that Harrisburg-based attorney Marc Scaringi would be taking over the case.

Scaringi recently earned headlines in Pennsylvania after he pursued an unsuccessful suit in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court challenging business restrictions ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf in the spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In another filing late Monday, Scaringi asked Judge Brann to delay the hearing scheduled for Tuesday and a separate evidentiary hearing scheduled for Thursday.

None of the attorneys returned messages seeking comment on Monday evening.

The Trump campaign is represented by Marc Scaringi of Scaringi Law.

Pennsylvania is represented by Daniel T. Donovan, Susan M. Davies and Michael A. Glick of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Daniel T. Brier, Donna A. Walsh and John B. Dempsey of Myers Brier & Kelly LLP.

The case is Donald J. Trump for President Inc. et al. v. Boockvar et al., case number 4:20-cv-02078, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

--Editing by Adam LoBelia.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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Case Information

Case Title

Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. et al v. Boockvar et al


Case Number

4:20-cv-02078

Court

Pennsylvania Middle

Nature of Suit

Civil Rights: Other

Judge

Matthew W. Brann

Date Filed

November 09, 2020

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