As Seattle Mayor Ed Murray faces a lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse, his attorneys are asking for his opposition to be fined for violating professional standards. And opposing counsel is firing back at Mayor Murray’s “nasty” lawyers.
Murray’s attorney, Malaika M. Eaton, filed an eight-page motion Tuesday that accuses attorney Lincoln Beauregard of “wrongly filing documents for an improper use,” and asks for financial sanctions against him.
Eaton responded to KIRO 7’s request for an interview, saying that under the circumstances, and out of respect for the Court, the legal team does not think it is appropriate to comment on the pending motion.
Beauregard’s firm, Connelly Law Offices, represents a Kent man suing Mayor Murray for alleged sexual abuse that occurred while he was a minor in the 1980s. He has responded to Murray’s lawyers by “inviting” them to withdraw their motion.
Beauregard told KIRO 7, “They’re mad that the documents that are getting filed don’t make them look good. Lawyers do this all the time. It’s totally normal.”
In a letter from Beauregard to Murray’s attorney Robert Sulkin, he picks apart the motion asking for sanctions, stating that there were no citations of the rules being violated. He further argues that it is Murray’s attorneys who are violating rules of professional conduct.
“By law, you are effectively asking the court to seal the files from public view by way of unlawful strong arm tactics — which is the only illegal behavior occurring here,” Beauregard writes. “Your motion is violative of CR 11.”
“As noted, you have a reputation of being nasty,” Beauregard further writes. “…You really should focus your efforts on defending Ed Murray, and not attacking our law firm. Thank you.”
The full letter can be viewed below.
The Times reports what Mayor Murray’s lawyers argued in their motion:
Since the initiation of this lawsuit, Mr. Beauregard has repeatedly wrongly filed correspondence with counsel and discovery papers with the Court in violation of the Civil Rules for an improper purpose. Defendant’s counsel has tried to avoid this motion by asking Mr. Beauregard to stop, and warning him that counsel would be forced to take appropriate action if he did not.
Eaton reportedly argues that Beauregard has filed “frivolous letters” with the court which include “personal attacks” on Murray’s lawyers. Murray’s legal counsel asks the court to impose fines on Beauregard for subverting “the litigation process by disregarding the civil and local rules and Rules of Professional Conduct by continuing to misuse and abuse the Court system for his own improper use.”
The motion argues that Beauregard has filed letters to Mayor Murray’s lawyers with the court, and alleges this action is to aimed at making them available to the press. Therefore, according to the motion, Beauregard is using the court system to plant allegations and other information for the press to find, via letters that should be sent directly to other attorneys.
“This behavior should not be tolerated,” the motion reads. “…(if) Mr. Beauregard wishes to communicate directly with the press, that is his right. What he cannot do is use the court’s filing system as his mouthpiece.”
KIRO 7 asked Beauregard why he does not contact the press directly outside of court.
He said, “Because we get kind of tired of getting calls from the media, and the media has a right to all this information anyways.”
In the motion, Eaton also references news that broke on Tuesday. Attorney Lincoln Beauregard released information about a 2016 incident at Mayor Murray’s Capitol Hill home based on a motion he was filing. That motion requested a deposition of the mayor’s campaign manager Maggie Thompson. But Beauregard reportedly released the motion to the press before filing it and notifying Thompson.
Beauregard told KIRO 7 the information about that incident came from an anonymous source, and he does not know the tipster’s identity.
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