Battle for the Presidency: Ongoing Coverage of the Biden Transition Amid Trump and GOP Litigation

Enika Vania
Biden Harris and Trump Pence campaign signs outside the entrance to Pikesville High School as people stand in line to cast their vote in the 2020 Presidential Election in Baltimore, MD, on November 3, 2020. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

As President-elect Joe Biden continues efforts to push ahead with his transition to the White House amid ongoing challenges to the election by President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, we will continue to update this section with news and analysis of the situation and its impact on the legal profession—as well as forward-looking pieces on what a Biden administration might mean for the business and practice of law.

By Max Mitchell | November 30, 2020

Counsel for U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pennsylvania, who challenged the expansion of mail-in voting, said he was busy filing an appeal. Lawyers for the Trump campaign, which lost in its case against Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar over administration of vote counting, have said they are turning to the U.S. Supreme Court.

By Max Mitchell | November 27, 2020

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy,” Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote. “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

By Cheryl Miller | November 25, 2020

One of the youngest justices to ever serve on California’s Supreme Court, Leondra Kruger is just the second African American woman to hold the position of associate justice.

By Andrew Maloney | November 23, 2020

Law firm leaders in a New York business group and former presidents of the New York State Bar Association both issued public statements about Trump’s resistance to a transition.

By C. Ryan Barber | November 23, 2020

The former Obama administration leader and ex-O’Melveny partner would become the first Latino to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

By C. Ryan Barber | November 23, 2020

“Although some Republican leaders have supported President Trump’s right to challenge aspects of the voting in various states, for the good of the country, they should now strongly oppose his dangerous and extra-legal efforts to intimidate state election officials and distort the Electoral College process,” they wrote.

By Max Mitchell | November 22, 2020

“This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together from two distinct theories in an attempt to avoid controlling precedent.”

By Max Mitchell | November 20, 2020

The defense-side changes come after a number of adjustments occurred last week with Trump’s legal team in the case, beginning with the exit of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur as well as Philadelphia attorney Linda Kerns.

By Jacqueline Thomsen | November 20, 2020 

The Senate generally doesn’t take up judicial nominees during the lame duck session, but it’s confirmed seven judges since Nov. 9.

By Marcia Coyle | November 18, 2020

In 2018 arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked Trump administration solicitor general Noel Francisco: “By the way, how many times this term already have you flipped positions from prior administrations?”

By Dan Clark | November 18, 2020

Lousia Terrell has also worked in-house at Facebook and Yahoo. Also joining the White House team is Winston & Strawn partner Julissa Reynoso as Jill Biden’s chief of staff.

By Karen Sloan | November 18, 2020

President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition teams include 26 legal academics, with the Department of Justice and Department of Interior teams leaning most heavily on law professors.

By Ross Todd | November 18, 2020

Even as a nonlawyer I knew when the judge asked what standard of review applied, Giuliani’s response—”the normal one”—wasn’t the answer the judge was looking for.

By Ross Todd | November 17, 2020

It appears a campaign to call large law firms to account for actions of their clients has inspired a Kirkland associate to make a call to a lawyer for President Trump. That, in turn, has caused at least a minor headache for the firm in a case where it’s opposite the Trump campaign.

By Suzette Parmley | November 17, 2020

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed a Commonwealth Court ruling that found a Trump campaign representative was denied adequate access to observe ballot canvassing in Philadelphia County during the Nov. 3 presidential election.

By Jacqueline Thomsen | November 17, 2020

“I will have to correct what I said,” Giuliani said of fraud claims in the key Pennsylvania lawsuit, under questioning from a federal judge.

By C. Ryan Barber | November 17, 2020

Remus earlier clerked for Judge Anthony Scirica on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Yale Law School graduate was formerly an associate at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a Wall Street powerhouse.

By P.J. D’Annunzio | November 17, 2020

In Pennsylvania federal court Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani repeated generalized arguments of “widespread voter fraud” in an attempt to keep alive the president’s hopes of overturning his election loss in the state.

By Dylan Jackson | November 17, 2020 

Crisis communication pros say the majority of law firms do not have the adequate resources to respond to “a multi-front war” of social media, paid media and protests.

By Max Mitchell | November 16, 2020

The motion asked U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, who is overseeing the case, to issue a ruling forcing the associate to explain his actions.

By Lauren Stiller Rikleen | November 16, 2020

Our country is at particular peril if its lawyers fail to recognize their unique role in protecting democracy.

By Zack Needles | November 15, 2020

It looks like Donald Trump’s presidency could be ending the same way it began: kicking up controversy for the law firms that represent him and his interests, and raising broader philosophical questions about the perils of taking on divisive clients and cases. But while Trump wasn’t the first, won’t be the last and is far from the only current client with a spotty public image, he is emblematic of a new kind of reputational risk that could potentially cause more severe problems for law firms than a mere PR headache.

By Dan Roe | November 13, 2020

Late Thursday, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur withdrew from a federal lawsuit that alleged ‘irregularities’ in Pennsylvania’s election procedure. It has also been involved in state court cases over the election.

By Michael Marciano | November 13, 2020

Lawyers, lawmakers and U.S. Attorney General are called out for supporting ‘false statements.’

By Mike Muskat and Corey Devine | November 12, 2020

The proposed Biden labor and employment agenda is vast, but much of it depends on which party will control of the Senate. Even without control of Congress, though, President-elect Biden wields significant influence over federal labor and employment law through his command of federal agencies and unilateral authority to set rules that federal contractors must follow.

By Jacqueline Thomsen | November 12, 2020

“I do believe the election is over, we do have a new president,” Olson said during a panel hosted by the Federalist Society.

By Andrew Maloney | November 12, 2020

“I think the expectation generally is that Rip Van Winkle wakes up, and we see a much different environment,” Dechert’s David Kelley said.

By Vivia Chen | November 11, 2020

How can firms that profess to value diversity and equality so fervently champion what’s essentially minority voter suppression?

By Catherine Wilson | November 11, 2020

The Florida members reflect an overall goal of providing diverse values, priorities and perspectives to the incoming Biden-Harris administration.

By Cheryl Miller | November 11, 2020

Here’s a look at some of the other California lawyers, many with experience in the Obama administration, volunteering on Biden transition teams.

By Charles Toutant | November 11, 2020

Bringing a frivolous election suit is a violation of court rules, but the standard for showing litigation has merit is quite low, according to legal ethics experts.

By Ellen Bardash | November 11, 2020

Alexander Mackler and Teresa Mason are among the 29 attorneys Biden, the first president-elect from Delaware, has selected to prepare for his administration, which is set to begin Jan. 20.

By Andrew Maloney | November 11, 2020

Lawyers from nearly two dozen Am Law 200 firms, many of whom have deep government experience, make appearances on Biden’s list of agency review team members.

By Jacqueline Thomsen | November 10, 2020

“Simply by keeping litigation ongoing, a sore loser candidate or party could dramatically undermine the transition efforts of the winning candidate by indefinitely postponing the declaration of a president-elect under the act,” a 2001 law review article warned.

By Max Mitchell | November 10, 2020

The suit, filed by Porter Wright Morris & Arthur attorneys in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, raised allegations, including a lack of transparency regarding canvassing mail-in ballots and disparate treatment of potentially defective ballots.

By C. Ryan Barber | November 10, 2020

Duke Law’s Christopher Schroeder, a former Obama-era Justice Department lawyer, is leading the Biden DOJ team. The team also includes Pam Karlan of Stanford Law and myriad Big Law partners.

By Michael B. Gerrard and Edward McTiernan | November 10, 2020

The Biden administration is expected to devote considerable resources to restoring federal primacy over policies protecting human health and the environment. In this edition of their Environmental Law Column, Michael B. Gerrard and Edward McTiernan first discuss what the new government can do on its own, and then what would require formal rulemaking processes, and finally what can only be accomplished with Congressional action.

By Lizzy McLellan | November 10, 2020

Kamala Harris’ husband already took a leave of absence from the firm starting in August.

By ALM staff | November 10, 2020

Former DOJ officials were among those criticizing Barr’s memo.

By International Staff | November 09, 2020

Lawyers say a Biden presidency will have a noticeable impact on global businesses and legal practices in many places. But not everywhere.

By Hannah Roberts | November 09, 2020

Top partners in London say they are mostly pleased about Biden’s victory, but express concerns over business, US-UK relations and even Brexit.

By Max Mitchell | November 09, 2020

The Commonwealth Court decision said GOP observers could come within six feet of persons processing and counting ballots. That decision, seen as the Trump campaign’s most significant courthouse win, rejected a trial judge’s decision that 15 feet was close enough.

By Patrick Smith | November 09, 2020

Change in Washington tends to create legal work. But which areas stand to benefit the most?

By Katheryn Tucker | November 09, 2020

“We are confident we will find evidence of improperly harvested ballots and other irregularities that will prove that President Trump won Georgia fairly again on his way to reelection,” said Doug Collins, outgoing congressman and now Trump lawyer.

By C. Ryan Barber | November 09, 2020

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy’s refusal to make a so-called “ascertainment” of Biden’s victory was quickly criticized as interfering with a smooth, peaceful transition.

By Ryland West, Diego Radzinschi and Jason Doiy | November 08, 2020

Shortly after news outlets began reporting on the projected victory of Joe Biden over President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, crowds in support of the Democratic challenger and his vice president-elect Kamala Harris gathered to celebrate in cities across the nation. ALM photographers in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C. captured the moment throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

By Zack Needles | November 08, 2020

With the U.S. election (kinda sorta) behind us, transactional lawyers and other professional dealmakers still have plenty to keep them up at night.

By Samantha Joseph | November 07, 2020

“We’re already doublechecking and finding dead people having voted,” Foley & Lardner partner Cleta Mitchell said.

By Jacqueline Thomsen | November 07, 2020

Biden will inherit an executive consumed by litigation during the Trump administration and a Justice Department facing charges of politicization.

By Dan Roe | November 06, 2020

Trump’s lawyers, so far, include small firms and litigation boutiques that are GOP favorites.

By Raychel Lean | November 06, 2020

“I don’t think judges are going to be receptive to arguments that ultimately are asking the votes not to be counted,” one attorney said.

By Jacqueline Thomsen | November 06, 2020

“So far the really difficult job of amassing proof that will stand up in court, they have not made public or evident, and so far does not exist,” longtime Republican election attorney Benjamin Ginsberg said of the Trump campaign.

By Jacqueline Thomsen | November 05, 2020

“Unfounded allegations of fraud and threats to initiate litigation aimed at stopping the vote count are clearly inappropriate and have the potential to undermine the rule of law as it applies to our electoral process,” the former prosecutors said.


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