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Legal Times: Complaint Accuses Hunton & Williams of Dirty Tricks

February 24, 2011- Three Hunton & Williams partners face an ethics complaint before the D.C. Bar after the release of e-mails saying they worked on an effort to undermine liberal activists.

The organization Stop the Chamber says it filed the complaint on Wednesday. Stop the Chamber, a critic of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was among the groups targeted by the security companies that Hunton & Williams worked with, according to e-mails.

The 14-page complaint (PDF) accuses the three Hunton & Williams lawyers of violating Rule 8.4 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct. The rule prohibits misconduct including conduct “involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.”

The lawyers violated the rule, says the complaint, when they collaborated with the three security companies on a project to gather information on and to undercut the Chamber’s critics. In November, the e-mails say, the companies’ employees discussed covert ways to “discredit” the union-backed U.S. Chamber Watch, including the creation of a forged document and “fake insider personas.”



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