Professor Bruce Green shared his expert opinion regarding the legal sanctions against Trump-allied ‘Kraken’ lawyers, shedding light on whether the lawyers are facing any real threat.
The National Law Journal
The Trump-allied lawyers who filed multiple lawsuits to try and overturn the 2020 election results will face their first major sanctions hearing in federal court on Monday.
There are lingering questions on whether disciplinary authorities will actually take action against these lawyers. In an upcoming law review article, ethics expert Bruce Green of Fordham University noted that disciplinary authorities rarely enforce rules against lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits or make other meritless claims in court.
“One might debate whether, in any given case or class of cases, disciplinary authorities are exercising laudable self-restraint or falling down on the job, but it is hard to judge, since the disciplinary decision-making process is confidential and the authorities do not publicly acknowledge much less justify their decisions not to pursue discipline,” Green wrote. “This is the practice not only in highly visible litigation but in hundreds of less noticed cases where disciplinary authorities exercise discretion to let advocates’ misconduct go unpunished.”
“Federal trial courts have a role in overseeing the professional conduct of the lawyers who appear before them, including by sanctioning lawyers for filing frivolous and vexatious litigation,” Green said in an email to Bloomberg Law. “There is not much that the court can do beyond impose monetary sanctions, but a disciplinary body can rely on the court’s findings to impose more serious sanctions—e.g., by suspending a lawyer for frivolous litigation.”
“So it makes sense for the lawyers involved to take this seriously, including by hiring well-regarded outside counsel,” Green said.