Browsing those files has confirmed the accuracy of that previously unreliable and unsourced UK Twitter gossip that I've cited occasionally. I was particularly struck by the motion filed by the Dunn family's first set of U.S. lawyers, Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll, on May 4, 2021, when they requested to withdraw as counsel for the plaintiffs.
CMST cited “irreconcilable differences and professional considerations” as the cause for the withdrawal.
Cohen Milstein Sellers Toll PLLC respectfully submits this Memorandum in support of its Motion to withdraw as counsel for the Plaintiffs in this action. Given the sensitivities of this matter, we limit our statement here to simply say irreconcilable differences and professional considerations have arisen that require termination of the representation and that Plaintiffs need retain new counsel. Situations have arisen which makes continued representation untenable and unworkable. We have brought this matter to the Court’s attention at the earliest possible time after it became apparent the relationship cannot continue.What professional considerations would make further representation "untenable and unworkable?" And note it was plural "situations" that arose, as in, more than one situation.
Well, three days later the defendants filed a motion of their own to express their lack of objection to the CMST motion, but also to request the judge affirm that the Joint Stipulated Protective Order in the case - which was requested by the U.S. government to limit discovery on any matter that might implicate U.S. national security interests - will apply to any new counsel who represent the plaintiffs even though they were not an original party to the order.
The defendant's motion also cited CMST's own term “professional considerations” and hinted that it may be coded language for 'legal ethics.' In other words, it may suggest that the plaintiffs wanted CMST to act contrary to their ethical obligations.
Why would the plaintiffs possibly do that, you may wonder? Well, maybe because they would like nothing better than a fishing expedition for anything of USG security interest that the family’s advisor could then pass to his favorite media outlet. It's just the sort of thing he would do. He is the very definition of a loose cannon. I can easily believe that he would be the cause of multiple "situations" for poor long-suffering CMST.
One other matter of note, which I found in a filing of March 11, 2021, is the plaintiffs' partial voluntary dismissal of all their liability claims except those governed by the laws of England and Wales.
Plaintiffs agreed that the substantive law of England and Wales governed Defendants’ liability for all Plaintiffs’ claims.
That is big, because those laws limit liability awards in fatal accident cases to some truly cheapskate kind of money. Nothing remotely "in the region of millions of dollars, not unless about 25,000 Pounds Sterling is in that vicinity.