William Brewer III is the outside counsel for the NRA and is the lead counsel in their case against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State. He is also at the center of some of the controversy surrounding the NRA due to his bills.
I stumbled across this very recent article written by Brewer in Texas Lawyer. The article is entitled Advocacy as Art: Lawyers Must Engage in Issues and Crisis Management. The article is behind a paywall but registration is free and you can read up to 3 articles per month.
His thesis in this article is that in large cases attorneys must manage both the courtroom litigation and the public relations outside the courtroom. I think you are seeing that very clearly in that he is the one who provides the response in many cases to the billing controversies, the Ack-Mac leaks, and the case against Ack-Mac itself.
From the article:
The fusion of legal and communications resources can produce more compelling, effective advocacy—enabling clients to favorably posture themselves, mitigate reputational damage and have a voice in the telling of the stories that define them.
What’s more, lawyers who manage issues and crisis management are able to help clients gain strategic advantages in their advocacy and recognize improvements in operational efficiencies, including cost-savings.
When communications professionals are deployed within law firms, the resources are more quickly and readily available. They are unencumbered by the drag of expensive “ramp up” periods often required by PR firms—which often renders the messaging “late” and diminishes its effectiveness.
There is also an inherent advantage in having law, media and politics all directed under the umbrella of the attorney-client relationship. The advocacy can be coordinated and responsive— working in alignment with a client’s legal objectives, elements of which might not be fully appreciated by a siloed PR firm.
If you read that last paragraph closely, you can see what he is trying to do for his firm with the NRA. He is seeking to be the legal counsel, the Ack-Mac PR firm, and the NRA-ILA wrapped up into one neat package. In other words, he wants to be the one-stop shop for all their needs and in turn get all the money.
Even if Brewer was the best attorney on Earth – and that is in considerable doubt – he still doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure to also provide the public relations and lobbying clout that the NRA needs. You need only to look over the list of professionals at his firm to see that.
I think there is a lot of danger for the NRA in what he is attempting to do in having “law, media, and politics all directed under the umbrella of the attorney-client relationship.” While the bar canon posits that he should put his clients first, his ethical lapses in the past make one suspect that he will first do what is right for Bill Brewer. If that means sucking the coffers of the NRA dry, so be it.
UPDATE: David Codrea has a post on William Brewer along with links to Open Secrets questioning just if this is really a “pro-gun” attorney. According to Open Secrets which tracks campaign donations, Mr. Brewer gave $2,700 to the campaign of Beto aka Robert Francis O’Rourke and zip to Sen. Ted Cruz. He has also given money to such “pro-gun” luminaries as Al Franken, Hillary Clinton, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Dick Durbin.
I wouldn’t care if Brewer was the real life reincarnation of Perry Mason he gave money to Beto F’ing O’Rourke. That alone should make you question his judgment.