The first and second articles in this series discussed legal events which happened before the 2020 election and the process of determining responsibility for them. This piece addresses how Republicans should choose lawyers and structure the legal team.
The RNC's goal should be to have the best legal representation possible. The process of selecting lawyers starts by reviewing legal work that was done in the 2020 election.
First, the assessments mentioned in the previous article should be taken and retention and hiring decisions should be made appropriately. Second, the RNC needs to evaluate those lawyers who represented Republicans or the RNC in 2020 (whether in litigation or administrative law work) and determine if the most qualified lawyers were handling these matters.
The RNC needs to review their legal strategy, written work, and courtroom advocacy. If other lawyers could have done a better job, the RNC should not retain these lawyers again and, instead, hire other lawyers.
The process of hiring lawyers is complicated and multifaceted. First, one needs to assess a lawyer's experience, past legal work, skill set, win-loss record, client reviews, etc. Second, one should hire those with the most experience.
For example, if lawyers need to argue before the Supreme Court, the RNC should use lawyers who have argued before the Court in the past and had favorable results. Cases involving elections are too important to use lawyers who are novices at the type of work needed.
Third, the lawyers should be supportive of Republicans. With politics, one cannot be so sure a lawyer would faithfully represent a client. Extra diligence into the lawyer, therefore, is necessary.
The unfortunate reality that firms and lawyers are sometimes afraid to represent Republicans. Some firms fear that clients will leave the firm when they find out that the firm represents Republicans. Some lawyers are concerned that they might be fired for representing Republicans.
Representation can be difficult to attain, therefore, due to possible economic backlash. The firms and lawyers who represented Republicans in the past should be applauded for their courage.
The RNC also needs to create a system such that legal maneuvers by Democrats will not be overlooked (such as the Georgia Consent Decree and the Zuckerberg-Chan donations in 2020).
First, the RNC needs to hire lawyers who are tasked with monitoring legal activity occurring across the nation related to elections. These lawyers would do so via regular queries via search engines (such as Westlaw and Lexis) to learn about changes or proposed changes to federal, state, and local elections laws.
They would also review blogs, election-related websites, state secretary of state websites and law reviews.
Second, the RNC needs a mechanism whereby local and state parties can convey information to the national RNC lawyers regarding actions pertaining to local and state election laws. National RNC lawyers may not know of local or state actions or how local or state lawyers may have responded (or not responded).
National RNC lawyers could advise local lawyers, participate when necessary, and act when local counsel has chosen not to do so. The national RNC would also be a second layer of review to assess whether a local or state party or lawyers took legal approach or improperly failed to challenge a Democrat legal maneuver when they should have.
An issue is whether the legal work should be handled in-house (lawyers who are employees of the RNC, such as its General Counsel and team) or outside counsel (lawyers who are not RNC employees but are paid by the RNC at an hourly or flat rate). The RNC would have to evaluate the lawyers and proceed accordingly.
The best or most knowledgeable lawyers in the area at issue may be at a firm and not the RNC.
Additionally, the amount of legal work may be too large for RNC lawyers to handle. In 2020, hundreds of lawsuits were filed prior to the election.
The amount of work would also increase due to the creation of the monitoring system mentioned above. It is likely that the RNC would use a combination of both in-house and outside counsel.
The RNC must be careful of the traps of (a) using in-house counsel when outside counsel would have yielded higher quality representation and (b) utilizing in-house counsel due to cost savings.
Lawyers are expensive, and the price tends to increase as the quality of the lawyer rises. One may argue that a better use of RNC funds would be expenses related to convincing voters to vote Republican (advertising, polling, etc.). If elections are not fair and rules are not enforced equally, however, Democrats may have great advantages or virtually be guaranteed a victory.
Therefore, all of the money spent on the election (such as advertising, polling, etc.) would have been for naught. Accordingly, spending money on legal expenses is critical.
Michael B. Abramson is a practicing attorney. He is also an adviser with the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. He is the host of the "Advancing the Agenda" podcast and the author of "A Playbook for Taking Back America: Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election." Follow him on his website and Twitter, @mbabramson. Read Michael B. Abramson's Reports — More Here.
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