Miers' Law Firm Paid $22M to Settle Fraud Claim

by Last Night in Little Rock

Yes, TChris, the hits do just keep on coming.

Just when we thought that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers had no paper trail, we find that the law firm that she was heading at the time paid $22M to settle a class action law suit for assisting law firm clients in defrauding investors, as noted here and picked up by HuffingtonPost.com. The original source: No less than the Class Action Newsletter (May 1, 2000).

It gets better.

As reported here, Newsweek outed her on July 17, 2000 as the front person to squelch the AWOL allegations from the Texas National Guard:

Here's how Newsweek's Michael Isikoff, on July 17, 2000, described her initial foray in the morass of Bush's Guard service:

The Bushies' concern began while he was running for a second term as governor. A hard-nosed Dallas lawyer named Harriet Miers was retained to investigate the issue; state records show Miers was paid $19,000 by the Bush gubernatorial campaign. She and other aides quickly identified a problem--rumors that Bush had help from his father in getting into the National Guard back in 1968. Ben Barnes, a prominent Texas Democrat and a former speaker of the House in the state legislature, told friends he used his influence to get George W a guard slot after receiving a request from Houston oilman Sid Adger. Barnes said Adger told him he was calling on behalf of the elder George Bush, then a Texas congressman. Both Bushes deny seeking any help from Barnes or Adger, who has since passed away. Concerned that Barnes might go public with his allegations, the Bush campaign sent Don Evans, a friend of W's, to hear Barnes's story. Barnes acknowledged that he hadn't actually spoken directly to Bush Sr. and had no documents to back up his story. As the Bush campaign saw it, that let both Bushes off the hook. And the National Guard question seemed under control.

Keep turning over rocks. No telling what we'll find.

It seems more insidious to me than just cronyism: It may be stacking the Court to rule on all the Republican cases starting to work their way into the system. We already know that Republicans don't recuse from cases they are invested in; e.g., Bush v. Gore or the case over Cheney keeping secret his energy confab attendees and Scalia hunting with Cheney after review was granted, euphemistically called "Duck-Blind Justice" here and here.

The lack of ethics just keeps on coming. Maybe that was why Scalia didn't get the nod for Chief: He's arrogant and got ethical baggage. Now it appears that Miers has baggage, too. $22,000,000 worth.

Goerge Bush has already proved he is oblivious to the credentials of his appointees. He just lucked out with Roberts' confirmation. Miers falls into the black hole of controversial nominees that "Advise and Consent" should reject.

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    totally off-topic, but i'm here to tell everyone to go see george clooney's new flick "good night, and good luck," about the edward r. murrow-joe mccarthy fight in the 1950's. very relevant to today's political climate. and a brilliant brilliant film. my reveiw of it is here. by the way, does jeralyn merritt work here anymore?

    Re: Miers' Law Firm Paid $22M to Settle Fraud Clai (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:39 PM EST
    kos suggests that Reid proposed Meir as Hatch's Souter. link I am all for filibuster, (as I had hoped for against Roberts) until bush is either impeached or finishes his term, not so practical, but practical has never been my thing. Owens, Brown, Estrada, Gonzales et.al.; I am sure he can keep them coming. Do you think the Dems can filibuster for three more years, more likely that he will get impeached first, which is not that likely. On the other hand conservatives are freaking out at the moment and not because of Meir, but because Bush is not conservative he is radical. Billmon's new post,Freakazoids, discusses the massive unrest in the wingnut blogosphere. Novak writes about serious conservative bush bashing. Maybe the right is ready to impeach. Wouldn't that be grand.

    There's less to this case than meets the eye. The firm settled a malpractice action brought against three of its partners (out of 400 lawyers). There's no evidence that Miers played any role other than approving the settlement.

    Skippy, I'm here. All the time. Check out my weekend stuff on PlameGate. But right now I'm writing a piece on Miers for Eric Alterman's Altercation tomorrow. And trying to help set up a new blog by progressive law prof and lawyer bloggers to address topics like Miers' nomination. And reading your blog and others and news articles. Besides, TChris and LNILR are great legal experts and I'm very grateful to them for their contributions to TalkLeft. Judging from our stats, so are TalkLeft readers.

    I knew it! Another Mercedes Driving Christian. Probably attends the same Texas house of worship that Bush does, where they hold homage to the Republican God of money, and make sure that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. I guess this means Jeb Bush is a shoo in for president in 2008.

    Re: Miers' Law Firm Paid $22M to Settle Fraud Clai (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:39 PM EST
    Hmmmm, fake but accurate does come to mind.....

    The president's spokesmodel Dan Bartlett just told us that there a special relationships that need to be respected -lawyer/client and doctor patient --both of which the Bushco cabal have not respected what a bunch of hypocrites What was Miers role in the Schiavo case What respect for the courts did she show

    Re: Miers' Law Firm Paid $22M to Settle Fraud Clai (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:40 PM EST
    What A Load Writes:
    there a special relationships that need to be respected -lawyer/client and doctor patient --both of which the Bushco cabal have not respected
    Okay, can you show us some examples?

    Re: Miers' Law Firm Paid $22M to Settle Fraud Clai (none / 0) (#9)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:40 PM EST
    Wow. The Bride of Kenny Boy. Why not a Supreme Court Justice? I tell ya, I sure wish I'd have voted for Bush so I could take some credit... although it doesn't seem too popular around here, the wingnut comments are little more than "look over there!" these days. (Jimmy, you're doing a heckuva job.)

    Re: Miers' Law Firm Paid $22M to Settle Fraud Clai (none / 0) (#10)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:40 PM EST
    So she sat in on the denial meetings pre 9/11. And Reid supports this person? Good thing I'm changing to Independent. I sure hope the village idiot has a backup candidate.

    If anything takes her down, this is it.

    Re: Miers' Law Firm Paid $22M to Settle Fraud Clai (none / 0) (#13)
    by Peter G on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:42 PM EST
    LNiLR: As an expert in legal ethics, do you agree that the lawyers in Miers' firm did *not* have a professional obligation to reveal to securties investigators that they had learned their clients in a fraud investigation appeared to be continuing to engage in fraudulent activity? Sounds to me like the lawyers made a reasonable call to stand on attorney-client privilege, that the victims included them in the later lawsuit as a possible "deep pocket" -- and that the firm's insurance company then kicked in the $22 million to the settlement fund, rather than fight over the privilege issue. Thus, it sounds like a bogus charge against Miers to me. What's your take, JW?