New York Attorney General Investigation

NRA Memorandum of Law in Opposition to OAG’s Petition

October 23, 2019

Filing Summary

The NRA presents its legal arguments in opposition to the OAG’s petition. The NRA argues that its NDA with Ackerman is not against public policy and enforceable, thus permitting it to redact and log privileged information before production to the OAG.

Key Points

  • The NRA describes Ackerman employees as “functionally equivalent to those of NRA employees.” It states, for instance, that Ackerman employees “sought and received legal advice from the NRA’s General Counsel, and learned the identities of NRA donors.” (Pg. 5.)
  • The NRA argues that it should be permitted to “‘preview’ subpoenas issued to its agent, and documents being produced in response, as a means of asserting its privileges.” The NRA claims that it offered to stipulate in writing that it would only redact and log privileged material and … would waive any potential nondisclosure rights with respect to nonprivileged material,” but that it received no response. (Pg. 7.)
  • The NRA argues that because its interests are adverse to Ackerman, there is no risk that the NRA will “unlawfully collude with [Ackerman] to destroy documents.” (Pg. 8.)
  • According to the NRA, Ackerman “acted as the NRA’s agent and fiduciary in multiple capacities[:] [Ackerman] entered into contracts on the NRA’s behalf, deployed the NRA’s intellectual property …, and liaised closely with NRA members and donors—including by operating public-facing websites that ingested vast troves of personal information … about NRA supporters.” (Pg. 9.)
  • The NRA argues that the OAG’s investigation is part of a “longstanding political vendetta against ‘Second Amendment Types,’ especially the NRA.” The NRA claims that Governor Cuomo “orchestrated a campaign of selective enforcement, backroom exhortations, and public threats designed to coerce financial institutions to blacklist pro-gun advocacy groups, especially the NRA.” (Pg. 12.).  Further, the NRA describes Attorney General Letitia James as “Cuomo’s chosen candidate” for the Attorney General and states that she “echoe[s] Cuomo’s threats.” (Pg. 13.)