“The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals imposed sanctions against Perkins Coie partner Marc Elias and other attorneys representing Democrats in a case where they challenged a Texas election law going into the 2020 elections.
The case centers on a state law barring “straight-ticket voting,” a practice that had allowed voters to automatically vote for every member of a particular party who is on the ballot by marking a single box instead of voting for each one individually. On Feb. 10, Elias and other attorneys filed a motion to supplement the record in the case, without mentioning that they had already filed what the court called a “nearly identical” motion in September 2020 that had been denied.
“This inexplicable failure to disclose the earlier denial of their motion violated their duty of candor to the court,” the Fifth Circuit said in an order dated March 11. The court went on to say that “[s]anctions are warranted in this case to deter future violations.”
Those sanctions include paying “reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs” that the other side incurred related to the February motion, as well as “double costs.” The court said that the attorneys are also “encouraged” to review the applicable section of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and to go through one hour of Continuing Legal Education related to ethics and professionalism, “specifically candor with the court.”
Perkins Coie stood by their attorneys in the face of the sanctions.
“We do not normally respond to requests for comment on pending litigation, but the Firm and the attorneys involved in this matter strongly disagree with the Appellate Court’s ruling and its order of sanctions in this case,” a firm spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News. “The Firm fully and completely supports our attorneys in this case.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton celebrated the court’s ruling, saying in a statement that “Perkins Coie cannot continue to mislead the Court, especially in a matter as important as election integrity.” (Read more: Fox News, 3/16/2021) (Archive)