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12 Nov 2020

Jeff John Roberts, Fortune

Backlash against Jones Day, the law firm aiding Trump’s election challenge, begins to escalate

In the days after Joe Biden won the election, many in legal circles were appalled to see a high-profile law firm assisting President Trump’s far-fetched attempts to challenge the results: Jones Day, a venerable 127-year-old firm that boasts the likes of Walmart and General Motors among its clients... The source of critics’ frustration is that President Trump’s legal challenges are not expected to produce any meaningful legal victories, but instead appear to be part of a strategy on the part of the President to undermine public confidence in the electoral process—according to several of Jones Day’s own lawyers who spoke anonymously to the New York Times. Meanwhile, judges across the country have been tossing out cases on the grounds that the Trump campaign’s claims of fraud or voter intimidation are hearsay or simply baseless.

... Jones Day, which has made more than $20 million in fees from Trump-affiliated groups since 2015, has responded to criticism over its role in the election litigation by saying it is not representing the President or his campaign. Instead, the firm says, its client is the Pennsylvania Republican Party—which may be a distinction without a difference if the allegations about the collective lawsuits being part of a coordinated strategy to sow doubt about the electoral process are true... Jones Day’s statement also pushed back against the notion that the litigation it has filed is frivolous... A spokesperson for Jones Day declined to comment on whether the controversy would impair the firm’s ability to recruit. Porter Wright, after initially defending its works on what it described as "controversial cases" filed a court brief late Thursday saying the Trump campaign "would be best served if Porter Wright withdraws."