Remington Arms et al v. Soto et al is at the US Supreme Court on appeal from the Connecticut Supreme Court. Remington is asking for a writ of certiorari and is seeking to overturn the horrendous ruling out of Connecticut. That 4-3 ruling stretched state law to cover acts that should have been precluded from suit by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
This past Friday the respondents (aka the anti-PLCAA side) filed their reply brief. The brief itself is not the story here. Rather it is who the ambulance chasing Joshua Koskoff with his novel legal theories corralled to be the counsel of record and to argue the case before the Supreme Court.
The counsel of record is Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. who served as Obama’s Solicitor General from 2011 until 2016. He is now a partner is the high powered California-DC law firm of Munger, Tolles, and Olson. That firm was co-founded by Warren Buffet’s investment partner Charlie Munger.
The National Law Journal’s Supreme Court Brief has this to say about his appointment.
The families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting have retained former U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. to represent them in their U.S. Supreme Court fight with gunmaker Remington Arms Co. LLC.
Verrilli, now a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson, was counsel of record for the plaintiffs, according to new filings in the U.S. Supreme Court. He filed a brief on their behalf Friday to oppose Remington’s attempt to have the U.S. Supreme Court rule that a federal law shields it from liability in the Sandy Hook case….
“The Sandy Hook victims were slain in a commando-style assault on the school. Their killer’s weapon of choice was a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, manufactured and marketed by petitioners,” the Munger Tolles team said in their opposition brief. “The XM15-E2S was designed for military combat, specifically to inflict maximum lethal harm on the enemy. Petitioners’ marketing emphasized precisely those characteristics of the firearm. In words and images, petitioners touted the XM15-E2S as a combat-tested weapon that would bestow the power to ‘perform under pressure’ and ‘single-handedly’ conquer ‘forces of opposition.'”
If I had to hazard a guess, I would say Verrilli and the rest of the Munger, Tolles team are doing this case pro bono. The firm takes great pride in their pro bono activities.
This case is all about the supremacy of Federal law. Thus, it takes a bit of chutzpah (or hypocrisy) for Verrilli to argue against PLCAA when one of his self-identified landmark wins (Arizona v. US) was all about the supremacy of Federal law.