Something of a detour from our regularly scheduled programming, but we are not living in “ordinary times.”

In the immediate wake of announcements from President Trump that he was ordering the end of the policy of separating children from their parents at the border, only to replace it with measures to prolong detention of families seeking asylum and a call for suspending due process entirely to send people “back from where they came” “immediately” and “with no judges or court cases,” this  Monday The New York Times published an op-ed co-authored by Brad Karp, Chair of Paul Weiss, and Gary Wingens, Chair of Lowenstein Sandler, titled “The Law Did Not Create This Crisis, but Lawyers Will Help End It.”  

Their column succinctly demonstrates the illegality of the Administration’s June 20 executive order and the President’s subsequent statements–flatly and unequivocally at odds with, among other things, ample case law and Article VI pronouncing treaties “the supreme Law of the Land.”  More importantly, they address what their firms and 32 other major American firms (collectively employing about 30,000 lawyers) are doing to to “coalesce resources” and “join forces with the legal services community to protect the rule of law.”[*]

Our firms, which collectively employ about 30,000 lawyers in nearly every state, have pledged to help reunify families and ensure representation for legitimate asylum seekers. This outpouring of volunteerism depends on strong partnerships with the legal services entities on the front lines. The firm Paul, Weiss, working with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, has sent a team of lawyers to represent parents detained near the border in Texas. The Lowenstein Sandler firm has been working alongside the Vera Institute of Justice and the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights to secure access to counsel for the young, separated children held in New York State and to advise lawyers of their ethical obligations when they undertake such representation.

Faithful readers know that Adam Smith, Esq. has always been and always will remain implacably apolitical.  

This has nothing whatsoever to do with politics.

It has everything to do with the higher values of our profession: The Rule of Law, the presumption of innocence, the right to due process and to competent representation.  

We leave it to you, as always, to take these thoughts wherever they may, or may not, lead you.


Image courtesy The New York Times: Scales of justice and parachuting lawyers

Some of those firms include:

Arnold & Porter
Baker & McKenzie
Brown Rudnick
Buckley Sandler
Eversheds Sutherland
Fried Frank
Gibson Dunn
Haynes and Boone
Hogan Lovells
Kelley Drye
Kramer Levin
Manatt Phelps
Morrison & Foerster
Simpson Thacher
Vinson & Elkins, and
Wilmer Hale

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