In a strongly worded letter, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli Wednesday fired the firm of King & Spalding as outside counsel for Virginia agencies in response to the firm’s decision to end its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Amid pressure from gay rights groups, K&S this week announced it was dropping the U.S. House Republican leadership as a client in lawsuits challenging the DOMA, a decision Cuccinelli calls “an obsequious act of weakness.”
“[I]t is crucial for us to be able to trust and rely on the fact that our outside counsel will not desert Virginia due to pressure by an outside group or groups,” Cuccinelli wrote.
“Virginia seeks firms of commitment, courage, strength and toughness, and unfortunately, what the world has learned of King & Spalding , is that your firm utterly lacks those qualities,” Cuccinelli said.
From a reference in Cuccinelli’s letter, it appears that King & Spalding has provided legal services for the University of Virginia Medical Center, where firms have been invited to submit proposals for compliance and transactional work. It’s not clear if K&S was involved in any ongoing legal matters with UVAMC.
We have not yet received reaction from K&S.
By Peter Vieth