Is this Good Legal Business. Is this Good in any Conceivable Sense?
The Indiana Business Journal has reported that convicted fraudster Tim Durham will be represented, pro bono, by legal giant Kirkland & Ellis.
Writes the IBJ:
James H. Mutchnik, a white-collar criminal defense attorney at Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis, revealed in court documents earlier this month that he’ll be representing Durham without charge during his appeal.
Durham filed in December to appeal his conviction to the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, but said he had no money to hire an attorney.
U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson granted his request to proceed with his case as an indigent after Durham told her that his multimillion-dollar home is in foreclosure and his financial assets are tied up in bankruptcy proceeding of the companies he used to control.
It’s unclear [emphasis added] why Mutchnik chose to represent Durham pro bono. He didn’t return a phone call from IBJ, and a firm spokesman declined to comment beyond issuing a statement confirming that Mutchnik is in fact leading Durham’s federal appeal.
It does seem unclear, doesn't it. The IBJ article later quoted Durham's prior lawyer as saying that Kirkland & Ellis regularly takes pro bono cases. Yeah, but probably not like these. This is why we have federal public defenders, right?
Imagine the good work that could be done with the tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal fees that will be "donated" in this case.
PRO BONO PUBLICO MEANS FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD.