Law Firm Defending Trump Seeks to Withdraw From a Long-Running Case

Law Firm Defending Trump Seeks to Withdraw From a Long-Running Case

A law firm that has long defended Donald J. Trump’s campaign and businesses from employment lawsuits has suddenly asked to withdraw from a years-long lawsuit involving what it calls an “irreparable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship.” .

The firm — LaRocca, Hornik, Greenberg, Rosen, Kittridge, Carlin and McPartland — has represented Mr. Trump’s political activities in numerous lawsuits since his first presidential run, helping to secure multiple settlements and dismissals and recovering nearly $3 million in the process be invoiced.

But late Friday, she asked a federal judge for permission to withdraw from a lawsuit filed by a former campaign surrogate, AJ Delgado. She said she was excluded from the election campaign in 2016 after announcing that she was pregnant. The timing of the motion was notable, just two days after the same federal court ordered the campaign to turn over into evidence all complaints of sexual harassment and gender or pregnancy discrimination from the 2016 and 2020 campaigns — materials that the defendants have long resisted turning over have over.

AJ Delgado in 2016.Credit…via YouTube

In the motion filed in federal court in Manhattan, lead attorney Jared Blumentti did not provide details about the dispute and asked for permission to “explain” the matter privately with the judge. Mr. Blumentti did not respond to a request for comment.

The apparent break with a long-trusted company comes at a busy time, legally speaking, for the former president.

He is in the third week of a criminal trial in a case aimed at covering up a 2016 election sex scandal involving porn star Stormy Daniels, and he faces additional criminal charges in Georgia as well as two separate federal charges. Last week, the Supreme Court argued whether Mr. Trump is completely immune from criminal charges for actions he committed while in the White House. And he is appealing verdicts totaling more than $500 million in two civil judgments last year.

It was not immediately clear whether LaRocca Hornik, which has its offices at 40 Wall Street, a building in downtown Manhattan owned by Mr. Trump, plans to cut all ties with him. But such a break would hardly be new. In January, one of Trump’s defense attorneys, Joe Tacopina, said he would no longer represent him. Last year, at least four of his other lawyers who represented him in various civil and criminal cases resigned.

Ms. Delgado, who is representing herself in the matter, objected to the withdrawal on Monday. It argued it should not be allowed until the disclosure process is complete, calling the request a “measure to avoid compliance.”

Judge Katharine H. Parker said that LaRocca Hornik must continue to represent the campaign for now and that she would schedule a conference with the law firm and the campaign to discuss the matter.

The firm has represented Mr. Trump’s business interests for at least a decade, for example defending Trump Model Management in a payroll lawsuit filed in 2014. It also represented the campaign in both of Mr. Trump’s previous runs for the White House, receiving $1.8 million between September 2016 and December 2020, Federal Election Commission records show. Since then, the former president’s super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., has paid LaRocca Hornik an additional $990,000, including a $15,103.90 payment as recently as March 25.

In addition to the case filed by Ms. Delgado, the company continues to represent the campaign in a sexual discrimination and abuse lawsuit filed by Jessica Denson, a former Hispanic outreach coordinator for the 2016 campaign. The most recent statement of claim in a New York state court was filed on April 16 and does not mention a desire to terminate the legal relationship.

Last year, the firm helped the Trump campaign negotiate a $450,000 settlement in a separate lawsuit filed by Ms. Denson that challenged the validity of nondisclosure agreements that campaign aides were required to sign during the 2016 campaign.

And in 2022, it helped negotiate a settlement in a lawsuit by protesters who claimed that Mr. Trump’s bodyguard Keith Schiller tore up a sign that read “Trump: Make America Racist Again” in 2015 and then hit one of them on the head beaten.

Ms. Delgado filed a lawsuit in 2019 against the campaign and former advisers Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, alleging gender and pregnancy discrimination.

While working for the campaign, she became pregnant by her boss, Jason Miller, a senior communications consultant and spokesperson. When she announced her pregnancy shortly after the 2016 election, her complaint said, she was relieved of most of her duties and “immediately and inexplicably stopped receiving emails and other communications.”

As part of the litigation, it is investigating all other complaints of gender discrimination related to the campaign.

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2024-05-01 02:13:09