FOR THE RECORD cont.
NRA Files Motion to Dismiss New York Attorney General's Amended Complaint
September 16, 2021 – The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) has filed a Motion to Dismiss the New York Attorney General's (NYAG) Amended Complaint, filed on August 16, 2021. The NRA's motion was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.
Filed on September 15, 2021, the Motion to Dismiss claims that the NYAG seeks to dissolve the NRA in an effort to "silence the constitutionally guaranteed political speech of its 5 million members." It states that, "[e]ven if the allegations against current and former executives are taken as true (as they must be, for purposes of this Motion), the NRA and its Board would be the victims of the alleged wrongdoing—not perpetrators."
New York Court Sides with NRA in Denying Motion to Intervene
September 8, 2021 – The New York State Supreme Court today denied a motion to intervene by two NRA lifetime members, Francis (“Frank”) Tait and Mario Aguirre, in the matters involving the New York Attorney General (“NYAG”). The NYAG filed a dissolution lawsuit against the NRA in August 2020.
Following oral argument earlier today, the NRA and its counsel, Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors (“BAC”), prevailed in opposition to the closely-watched motion.
NRA’s Legal Position Against Ackerman McQueen Gets Lift as Several of the Agency’s Claims are Dismissed
August 17, 2021 – The National Rifle Association of America (“NRA”) today announced significant developments in its legal dispute with former vendor Ackerman McQueen (“AMc”).
In an opinion, dated August 16, 2021, U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish, granted the NRA’s Motion to Dismiss several significant claims brought forward by AMc – namely, Business Disparagement and Tortious Interference. In addition, the court significantly cut down AMc’s fraud claim against the NRA. The court’s ruling dramatically impairs AMc’s case and postures the Association favorably for trial.
NRA Filing Argues NYAG Cannot Dissolve It
July 20, 2021 – In an amended verified answer and counterclaims filed in New York Supreme Court, the NRA argued that the dismissal of its bankruptcy case and judge’s findings demonstrated that New York Attorney General Letitia James cannot shut down the organization. The filing cited U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Harlin D. Hale’s decision finding that the “NRA now understands the importance of compliance” and had undertaken a “course correction.”
Court Dismisses Ackerman McQueen’s Claims Against Wayne LaPierre
July 16, 2021 – The U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, today granted a motion to dismiss Ackerman McQueen’s claims against Wayne LaPierre. The agency had asserted five claims against him. Senior District Judge A. Joe Fish ordered that “LaPierre is removed as a party from this suit.”
“This decision confirms that Ackerman McQueen’s claims against Mr. LaPierre were not appropriately brought in this matter,” says Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of NRA Public Affairs. “This development calls into question the agency’s entire narrative against the NRA.”
NRA Responds to NYAG James' Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit
June 25, 2021 – The NRA commented today on New York Attorney General Letitia James’ motion to dismiss the Association’s lawsuit against her.
“When the NRA determined to hold Letitia James accountable for her politically-motivated lawsuit, it did so with full knowledge that she would attempt to hide behind nonexistent protections and privileges,” says William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA. “This filing is yet another example of Attorney General James repeating discredited accusations as she brazenly attempts to use ‘qualified immunity’ as a shield to avoid scrutiny of her abuse of power.”
Brewer added, “Attorney General James is not above the law. The NRA looks forward to vindicating its members’ rights before a jury.”
NRA Moves to Expedite State Court Action Against NYAG Letitia James
June 4, 2021 – The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) today announced that it is taking steps to expedite resolution of its Constitutional claims against New York Attorney General Letitia James. To accomplish that objective, the Association voluntarily withdrew its action against NYAG James that had been pending in federal court in Albany, New York, in favor of pursuing the same claims against James in New York State court in Manhattan.
This procedural step is significant and important because it will ensure that the NRA’s claims against NYAG James will be tried in the same court and by the same jury that will hear her lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA. That lawsuit, which the NRA alleges is politically motivated, was filed after outrageous threats made against the NRA – even before Ms. James was elected and before she had seen a single shred of evidence.
NRA Lawsuit Over “Blacklisting Campaign” to Proceed
March 15, 2021 – The NRA’s lawsuit against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, former New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Maria Vullo, and the DFS continues to move forward.
In a long-awaited decision, dated March 15, 2021, the Hon. Thomas J. McAvoy, sustained, yet again, the crux of the NRA’s lawsuit – its First Amendment claims. The remaining claims in this important case are: (1) the First Amendment claims against Gov. Cuomo in his individual capacity, (2) the First Amendment claims against Ms. Vullo in her individual capacity, and (3) the First Amendment claims for injunctive and declaratory relief against Ms. Vullo in her official capacity.
NRA Responds to NYAG Lawsuit, Countersues for NYAG Trying to Dissolve 'Political Enemy'
February 23, 2021 – In a legal filing, the NRA today responded to an August 2020 lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The filing responds to the contrived narrative by the NYAG, and alleges that the case she filed is part of a crusade to silence a powerful political opponent and its commitment to Second Amendment advocacy.
As reported by Reuters, “ The National Rifle Association has filed a countersuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James, saying she lacks authority to invoke state laws governing nonprofits to dissolve ‘political entities’ such as itself.”
According to the filing, “James’s threatened, and actual, regulatory and civil reprisals are a blatant and malicious retaliation campaign against the NRA and its constituents based on her disagreement with the content of their speech. This wrongful conduct threatens to destroy the NRA and chill the speech of the NRA, its members, and other constituents, including like-minded groups and their members.”
The NRA will continue to confront the NYAG’s weaponization of power – to the benefit of the Association, its millions of members, and all who believe in constitutional freedom.
READ THE FILING. (Counterclaims begin on page 136)
NRA Files Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint Against Ackerman McQueen, Mercury Group
February 11, 2021 – The National Rifle Association of America ("NRA") today filed a motion for leave to file a Second Amendment Complaint against Ackerman McQueen, Inc. ("AMc"), its subsidiary, Mercury Group, Inc., and individual defendants. The motion was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.
The NRA seeks to amend its complaint to add a new claim for trademark infringement and to add new allegations uncovered during discovery that are specific to fraud and conspiracy charges against Mercury Group.
As stated in the Second Amended Complaint, "Since the NRA terminated its relationship with AMc in Spring 2019, text messages, emails, and former-employee testimonials obtained through discovery and otherwise have made two things regrettably clear. First, AMc exploited decades of trust in order to siphon assets from the NRA, lining its pockets at the expense of its client and in violation of the law. Second, AMc has gone to outrageous lengths to sustain and conceal its grift, deploying scorched-earth tactics against anyone who scrutinized its activities or spending."
The NRA filed its original lawsuit against the Defendants on August 30, 2019. That lawsuit sought to enjoin the agency's further misuse of the NRA's brand for its own marketing purposes.
NRA alleges that Ackerman breached its fiduciary duties, engaged in fraudulent billing, and failed to maintain adequate books and records – all in an effort to enrich itself at the expense of the NRA and its members.
NRA Files Memorandum of Law in Opposition to NYAG’s Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit
Coalition of 16 Attorneys General File Amicus Brief Supporting
NRA Case Against NYAG Letitia James
December 22, 2020 — Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, on behalf of its client, the National Rifle Association of America ("NRA"), filed a memorandum of law in opposition to New York Attorney General ("NYAG") Letitia James' motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the NRA against James. That lawsuit alleges that the NYAG weaponized her regulatory and legal powers to harm a political adversary.
"In this filing, the NRA confronts the efforts of the New York Attorney General to avoid legal scrutiny for the obvious abuse of the powers of her office,” said William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and counsel to the NRA. "The NRA believes James' open hostility toward the Association and its law-abiding members is unconscionable. Courts have repeatedly held that the underlying chilling effects of conduct like James’ require judicial scrutiny."
NRA, Wayne LaPierre Notch Win Against Virginia Firm Dycio & Biggs
December 18, 2020 — The NRA and its CEO & EVP Wayne LaPierre were vindicated this week in a Virginia courtroom. On December 18, 2020, Virginia Circuit Court Judge Catherine Hammond ruled in favor of the Association in a high-profile dispute with the Virginia law firm of Dycio & Biggs (Dycio).
The ruling comes almost one year after the NRA sued Dycio, alleging the firm had defrauded the NRA.
NRA Favorably Resolves Insurance Dispute with New York State Department of Financial Services
November 18, 2020 — The NRA announced today that it has successfully resolved an insurance investigation of the Association by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), New York’s banking and insurance regulatory agency.
On November 17, 2020, the NRA entered into a settlement with the DFS relating to its affinity-insurance inquiry. The NRA resolved this matter without any admission by the Association of any misconduct on its part. Importantly, no NRA money is being used to fund the payment to DFS.
“We believe this agreement is a resounding win for the NRA and the members it serves,” says William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA. “The DFS inquiry, which began with a roar, ends with a whimper. Not a penny of NRA money will directly or indirectly fund this settlement, and the settlement has no adverse impact on the NRA’s legal cases in the State of New York. Those important cases are moving forward as planned.”
NRA Scores Win Against Winston & Strawn Over Failed Arbitration and Its Undisclosed Relationship with Arbitrator Who Sent Racist Communications
October 22, 2020 — The NRA today prevailed over Winston & Strawn’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit seeking damages relating to a failed arbitration. The arbitration failed, in part, due to an undisclosed relationship between a Winston partner and former disgraced JAMS arbitrator Hon. Richard Neville (Ret.).
The lawsuit, filed July 29, 2020, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, alleges that in a recent arbitration, the NRA discovered on the eve of the final hearing that the arbitrator, Judge Neville, was conducting a secret email discussion group – participated in by a senior partner of opposing counsel, Winston – where lurid white nationalist propaganda was shared and promoted. The communications revealed that Judge Neville shared a close, undisclosed relationship with Winston Partner Terry Grimm, according to the NRA. The NRA brought the action to recover amounts expended during the corrupted arbitration proceeding, and to uncover facts about the extent of the bias that tainted the proceeding.
Reuters: NRA Wins Round vs. Winston & Strawn in Fight Sparked by Racist Email
October 23, 2020 — Reuters reports that the NRA can "seek tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees from Winston & Strawn, a judge has ruled, handing the NRA a partial win in a case sparked after a JAMS Inc. Arbitrator inadvertently forwarded an article railing against Black Americans to an outside lawyer for the gun owners' group."
The report notes that the NRA seeks to "recover fees from an arbitration proceeding in which Winston represented the NRA's adversary."
NRA Donor Case Loses Steam as Court Sides with Association, LaPierre on Virtually All Counts
September 30, 2020 — The highly publicized case by NRA member David Dell’Aquila against the NRA has suffered a significant blow — following a key decision from a Nashville court.
In a 17-page opinion (read the opinion), dated September 30, 2020, a Nashville judge dismissed all of plaintiff’s claims against Wayne LaPierre. The court also dismissed all of Mr. Dell’Aquila’s claims against the NRA Foundation.
Despite plaintiff’s legal filibustering and orchestrated media campaign, only one of his claims remains against the NRA — merely citing a representation that was made on the Association’s website.
In the weeks that followed the August 2019 lawsuit, NRA donors rallied behind the Association and its efforts to confront the misguided legal action.
Importantly, the court has not ruled against the NRA on any claim brought by Mr. Dell’Aquila. He is pursuing a class action – but no class has been certified and obtaining such standing will be a significant challenge.
The NRA looks forward to defeating the final remaining claim and bring the facts into full view.
The Association has full confidence in the work it does on behalf of its millions of loyal members, and will continue to defend their Second Amendment freedoms.
NRA Comments on NYAG Lawsuit – a “Baseless, Premeditated Attack” Driven by Political Ambition; Announces Legal Filing Against NYAG Letitia James
August 6, 2020 — The NRA commented today on a lawsuit announced by New York Attorney General Letitia James against the organization.
“This was a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend," said NRA President Carolyn Meadows. "You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle. It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda. This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Our members won’t be intimidated or bullied in their defense of political and constitutional freedom.”
William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and counsel to the NRA, stated, “We will aggressively defend this organization and its members. The investigation reveals the NYAG has aligned herself with disgraced vendors and former partners who would support a contrived narrative for personal gain. The truth is, the transactions in question have been reviewed, vetted and approved – and every dollar spent by the NRA has been in furtherance of its mission to defend constitutional freedom. End of story.”
The NRA today filed a lawsuit against James – confronting her partisan investigation. Filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, the lawsuit notes that, under the guise of protecting New Yorkers and enforcing state nonprofit law, the NYAG has weaponized its regulatory and legal powers to harm a political adversary.
James famously vowed to "target the NRA" and "investigate the legitimacy of the NRA as a charitable organization" while on the campaign trail in July 2018 – before spending even one day in office and without any evidence of wrongdoing.
“As evidenced by the lawsuit filed by the NRA today against the NYAG, we not only will not shrink from this fight – we will confront it and prevail,” said Meadows.
NRA Seeks Declaratory Judgment that It can Proceed with Disciplinary Proceeding
July 1, 2020 — The NRA announced today that it filed a complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Albany. The NRA seeks a declaratory judgment that it can proceed with a disciplinary proceeding, as contemplated under the NRA's Bylaws, that would determine whether Lt. Col. Oliver North should be expelled from NRA membership.
The disciplinary proceeding was commenced on August 5, 2019, when another Board member filed a complaint against North seeking North’s expulsion from the NRA on the grounds that North acted contrary to and in violation of the NRA’s Bylaws, engaged in conduct that was disruptive of the orderly operation of the NRA in pursuit of its goals, and violated his obligation of loyalty to the NRA and the NRA’s objectives.
In addition, the NRA seeks a declaratory judgment that by failing, in June 2019, to end his employment at Ackerman McQueen – a related party transaction – he forfeited his NRA Board membership.
NRA Seeks Reversal of Court Ruling that Allows for Secret Review of Documents by New York Attorney General; Famed Civil Procedure Expert Warns of “Wrong, Dangerous” Decision That Limits Protection of Confidential Information
May 18, 2020 — Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors announced today that its client, the NRA, seeks to reargue a court ruling that limits the Association’s ability to protect its confidential and privileged information provided to the New York Attorney General (“NYAG”) by the Association’s longtime fiduciary, Ackerman McQueen, Inc. (“AMc”). The NRA is joined by famed civil procedure expert and NYU Law School Professor Arthur R. Miller in its efforts to overturn the court’s decision that denies the NRA such protections.
NRA Files Lawsuit Against State of New York, Seeks Gun Stores to be Designated “Essential” in Wake of Shutdown
April 2, 2020 — The NRA today filed suit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Department of Economic Development, and New York State Department of Economic Development Acting Commissioner, President, and CEO Eric Gertler in response to the state’s attack on the rights of New York citizens and residents to exercise their Second Amendment freedoms.
The lawsuit focuses on Executive Order 202.8, issued by Gov. Cuomo on March 20, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. According to the lawsuit, that order “effectively and indefinitely suspended a key component of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution – shutting down all gun stores in the State of New York, including federally licensed gun stores, by deeming them ‘non-essential’ businesses.” Under the order, “essential” businesses are permitted to remain open. According to the NRA, the order had the intended effect of eliminating the only way of legally purchasing firearms in the state.
NRA Seeks Preliminary Injunction Against New York State Department of Financial Services to Confront Expedited Enforcement Action
FEBRUARY 28, 2020 — Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors announced today that its client, the National Rifle Association of America (“NRA”), seeks a preliminary injunction in federal court to block the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) from conducting enforcement proceedings against the NRA. On February 5, 2020, DFS served a Statement of Charges against the NRA and noticed a hearing on April 6, 2020 to address alleged violation of New York State insurance law.
Filed on February 28, 2020, the NRA’s court papers claim that in the face of startling new evidence and documents detailing backroom pressure it placed on insurance companies to blacklist the NRA, the DFS hurriedly amended its hearing rules, then contrived to conclude its investigation of the NRA – so it could divert important issues to a private, DFS-controlled forum instead of a New York jury.
NRA Prevails Against City of Los Angeles as Court Issues Final Judgment Striking Down Blacklisting Campaign
FEBRUARY 7, 2020 — The National Rifle Association of America (“NRA”) today announced that Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued a final Judgment of Permanent Injunction against the City of Los Angeles and in favor of the NRA.
Dated February 5, 2020, the judgment permanently prohibits the city from enforcing an ordinance that had required NRA members or supporters to disclose their support for the NRA in order to be considered to do business with the city. The outcome is another legal victory for the NRA, which is successfully confronting many First Amendment attacks on the organization and its members.
Los Angeles Backs Down, Repeals Controversial Ordinance Targeting NRA
JANUARY 21, 2020 —The Los Angeles City Council today voted to formally repeal a controversial city ordinance requiring contractors seeking to do business with the city to disclose ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA). The decision is another legal victory for the Association, which argued that the ordinance violated its First Amendment right to free speech and won an injunction blocking the law.
“The same city officials who vowed to defend this ordinance are on the run,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “In addition to the NRA members they wronged, city officials must now answer to voters and taxpayers for their failed experiment, and explain why they recklessly subjected the city to legal and financial exposure.”
The New York Times Magazine Reports on NRA
DECEMBER 18, 2019 — The New York Times Magazine today published the article, “Inside Wayne LaPierre’s Battle for the NRA.” The piece, which centers on an interview with LaPierre, chronicles the NRA’s position on a wide range of legal, regulatory and reputational concerns.
The article also underscores an important truth: In the face of relentless pressure, LaPierre and the NRA have fought to protect the interests of the Association and its millions of loyal members. The piece explores the apparent political motivation behind an investigation by the New York Attorney General, and offers information that supports the NRA’s legal position of former vendor Ackerman McQueen.
Speaking directly of Ackerman, The New York Times cites its independent research regarding the poor reach and exposure of the NRATV platform and quotes an Ackerman client who validates the merits of the NRA’s legal actions against the agency.
Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement of Los Angeles Law Targeting the NRA
DECEMBER 11, 2019 — U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson today granted a preliminary injunction that blocks enforcement of a Los Angeles law requiring contractors seeking to do business with the city to disclose ties to the NRA.
Judge Wilson said that the NRA was likely to show that the law violated its constitutional First Amendment right to free speech and would cause irreparable harm.
Chuck Michel, a lawyer for the NRA, called the law "part of a larger unfounded campaign of shame against the NRA and its message" by politicians opposed to its views on gun rights, including the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
"The First Amendment protects people who believe in the Second Amendment," Michel said in an interview.
“This is an important win for the NRA, our members, and all who believe in America’s constitutional freedoms,” says Andrew Arulanandam. “In a strong rebuke of the city’s actions, the ordinance is banned from taking effect. Coupled with the NRA’s recent victory against the City of San Francisco, the ruling sends a powerful message to those government officials who would take any actions that are adverse to the NRA because they dislike its political speech.”
NRA Withdraws Lawsuit in San Francisco; Celebrates Important Legal Victory
NOVEMBER 7, 2019 — The NRA today withdrew its lawsuit against San Francisco — and now celebrates the important victory it obtained on behalf of its members.
"As has been widely reported, after the Association challenged the unconstitutional resolution, the City beat a hasty retreat and backed down from its wildly illegal blacklisting scheme," says William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and counsel to the NRA. “The censors are on notice. The NRA will always fight for the Constitution, and will re-file if the City tries anything like this in the future."
NRA Achieves Victory in Lawsuit Against Former NRA President Lt. Col. Oliver North
OCTOBER 10, 2019 — On October 10, 2019, the NRA achieved a victory in its lawsuit against former NRA President Lt. Col. Oliver North, when the New York Supreme Court dismissed, with prejudice, North's demands for indemnification from the NRA.
In response to the New York Supreme Court ruling, NRA outside counsel William A. Brewer III stated, "This decision is a resounding win for the NRA in its dispute with Lt. Col. North. The NRA always viewed the position of Lt. Col. North as a misguided attempt to deflect from the cold reality: he played a central role in a corrupt scheme that actually caused many of the issues for which he sought indemnification.”
Brewer added, “The NRA will continue to hold Lt. Col. North and others accountable for actions taken in pursuit of their own self-interests. The Association will stay on the principled path – in support of its Constitutional freedoms and those of the millions of members it serves.”
San Francisco Backs Down: Facing a Lawsuit by the NRA, Mayor London Breed Declares – We Won’t Blacklist NRA Contractors
OCTOBER 1, 2019 — The NRA declared victory in San Francisco today, after Mayor London Breed formally disavowed key provisions of a municipal resolution that signaled the blacklisting of contractors linked to the Second Amendment advocacy group.
In a formal memorandum to City officials, Mayor Breed declared that “no [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA.”
NRA Responds to Report by Senate Finance Committee Democrats
SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 — The NRA responded today to a report issued by Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee regarding the NRA and Russia.
“This report promotes a politically motivated and contrived narrative. An avalanche of proof confirms that the NRA, as an organization, was never involved in the activities about which the Democrats write,” says William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA. “This report goes to great lengths to try to involve the NRA in activities of private individuals and create the false impression that the NRA did not act appropriately. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Brewer continued, “As noted by the committee Republicans in their rebuttal, this report is a transparent effort to justify yet another ‘fishing expedition’ into the NRA.”
Speaking of a 2015 trip to Russia, Andrew Arulanandam, NRA managing director of Public Affairs, said, “Certain NRA members made the trip of their own accord. The record reflects it was not an official NRA trip. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre was opposed to it and, at his directive, no NRA staff members or employees attended.”
SEPTEMBER 9, 2019 — The NRA released the following statement from NRA CEO and EVP Wayne LaPierre in connection with the NRA's lawsuit, filed September 9, 2019, against the City and County of San Francisco and members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
“This lawsuit comes with a message to those who attack the NRA: we will never stop fighting for our law-abiding members and their constitutional freedoms,” says LaPierre. “Some politicians forget that all 5 million of us in the NRA stand for freedom and that we believe it is a cause worth fighting for. We will always confront illegal and discriminatory practices against our organization and the millions of members we serve.”