NRA Attempts to Put Off Court Hearing on Brewer Firm
On March 1, 2021, the NRA filed an “emergency motion” to attempt to postpone a hearing about the retention of Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors as its “Special Counsel” in the bankruptcy. The hearing is calendared for March 4th, with the U.S. Trustee having objected to the appointment of the Brewer firm due to the firm having “divided loyalties and conflicts of interest.” According to the U.S. Trustee, “these disqualifying conflicts are compounded by [the firm’s] failure to disclose them” to the bankruptcy court.
Recall, the Brewer firm has found itself in the middle of several NRA controversies, billing the NRA approximately $38.5 million in 2018 and 2019 according to IRS financial disclosures. Note, that number does not include 2020-2021 legal fees, which have yet to be disclosed.
Ahead of this emergency filing by the NRA, the U.S. Trustee had filed its witness list for the March 4th hearing on the Brewer firm that included NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, NRA Board President Carolyn Meadows, attorney Bill Brewer, and NRA General Counsel John Frazer. Further, the exhibit list, also filed by the U.S. Trustee designated deposition testimony from Meadows and Frazer from the NRA’s litigation with Ackerman McQueen as evidence, in addition to a July 15, 2019 memo from former NRA accountant Emily Cummins.
The NRA’s justification to push the hearing is that they want the ability to focus their attorneys’ attention on “the upcoming hearing on the motion to dismiss, for a trustee and for an examiner” – which the NRA notes “are scheduled for a 6-day hearing starting on March 29, 2021.” (P.3). The NRA proposes the counsel retention motion be heard after this critical 6-day mini-trial.
Underscoring the importance of this upcoming mini-trial, the NRA writes the hearing “involves intricate factual issues encompassing nearly seven years of the NRA’s governance and transactions.” (p.4). The NRA notes that the Brewer firm “accept[s] the risk” that their trial preparation will go uncompensated if the application for retention is ultimately denied.