Law Firm Quits MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s Dominion Lawsuit, Claims Lawyer Filed It Without Permission

Topline

An attorney representing MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in a new lawsuit against voting machine companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic has departed the law firm Barnes & Thornburg after filing the complaint without its authorization, the firm said in a statement Friday, and it withdrew from the case.

Key Facts

Lindell, a Trump ally who has continued to push baseless claims alleging widespread election fraud in the months after the November election, filed a lawsuit Thursday night against Dominion and Smartmatic in federal court.

The lawsuit, which comes after Dominion sued Lindell for defamation and Lindell filed a separate lawsuit on MyPillow’s behalf, accuses Dominion and Smartmatic of “weaponizing the litigation process to silence political dissent and suppress evidence” and makes widespread claims of election fraud.

The suit—which cites William Shakespeare, 1984 and Adolf Hitler—has been broadly criticized by lawyers, who described Lindell’s legal arguments as “nonsense” and a “craptastic legal job.”

The complaint was filed by Alec J. Beck of Barnes & Thornburg, a major business law firm based in Indiana that Law.com ranks as the 107th highest grossing law firm in the world.

In a statement Friday first reported by Law.com, a spokesperson for Barnes & Thornburg said the Lindell complaint was filed “without receiving firm authorization” and the firm was “immediately” taking steps to withdraw from the lawsuit.

Beck “is no longer with the firm,” Barnes & Thornburg said Friday, and the attorney filed a change of address motion in the case, noting “no attorney from Barnes & Thornburg LLP remains of record” in the litigation.

Crucial Quote

“Late last night, firm management became aware of the filing of the complaint which was done without receiving firm authorization pursuant to internal firm approval procedures,” Barnes & Thornburg said in an emailed statement to Forbes. “The firm has withdrawn as local counsel in this matter and has ended the client relationship.” Beck has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Chief Critic

In a statement to Forbes Friday, a spokesperson for Dominion said Lindell’s lawsuit was “meritless” and “an increasingly desperate attempt to distract from the harm Mike Lindell and MyPillow continue to cause Dominion and the democratic process itself.”

Big Number

$1.3 billion. That’s how much Dominion is suing Lindell for in its defamation suit against him. While Lindell’s lawsuit does not specify a monetary amount, MyPillow’s lawsuit against Dominion filed in April asks for $1.6 billion. In addition to Lindell, Dominion has also brought defamation lawsuits against Fox News and attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, while Smartmatic brought a single defamation lawsuit against Powell, Giuliani, Fox News and several of the network’s top anchors.

Key Background

Lindell has continued to claim there was election fraud involving voting machines despite Dominion’s defamation suit against him, repeating his allegations in a series of documentaries, in-person rallies, media appearances and a new “Frank Speech” media platform. There is no credible evidence of widespread election fraud. The MyPillow CEO has bizarrely alleged President Donald Trump will be reinstated as president in August, which Trump reportedly has told others he believes himself. 

Tangent

Barnes & Thornburg is the latest in a series of major law firms to distance itself from Trump and his allies’ attempts to overturn the presidential election results. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur withdrew from representing the Trump campaign in a Pennsylvania lawsuit after the election, Snell & Willmer withdrew from representing the Republican National Committee in an Arizona lawsuit and Jones Day issued a statement making clear it was not supporting Trump’s legal campaign against the vote count. Attorney Cleta Mitchell also resigned from law firm Foley & Lardner in January after taking part in Trump’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he tried to overturn the state’s election results. 

Further Reading

Barnes & Thornburg Partner Leaves Firm After Representing My Pillow CEO in Suit (Law.com)

Dominion Blames MyPillow’s Mike Lindell For Election Distrust And Bizarre Arizona Audit (Forbes)

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell Sues Dominion For $1.6 Billion (Forbes)

Dominion Voting Sues MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell For Defamation Over Election Conspiracy (Forbes)

Voting Company Smartmatic Sues Fox News, Giuliani, Sidney Powell For Defamation (Forbes)

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