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Trumpeting pro bono

Trumpeting pro bono


Gibson Dunn partner promises to 'represent pro bono anyone Trump sues for exercising their free speech rights'

There are many ways to watch America elect its next commander in chief, but if you're anything like Solicitors Journal, you're probably watching it from behind the couch in between fits of laughter and a feeling of impending dread that leaves you writhing on the floor in the foetal position. The reason for this: Donald J Trump.

The Republican candidate has been dogged by controversy since first throwing his hat into the ring for president. He has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US, promised to 'build a great wall' to keep out Mexico's 'bad hombres' on their side of the border, claimed a judge with Mexican heritage was biased against him, and threatened to put his opponent, Hillary Clinton, 'in jail'.

But these campaign trail stumbles are nothing compared to the iceberg that has felled Trump's titanic plans for world domination. Following the emergence of recorded 'locker-room talk', in which the billionaire businessman bragged about being able to do whatever you want 'when you're a star', 12 women have now alleged sexual assault by the presidential hopeful.

Trump has been his usual bombastic self, calling his accusers 'liars' and threatening to sue them all once the campaign is over and, he hopes, he is seated in the Oval Office. He has even taken aim at the attorney of three of the women, branding her 'a third rate lawyer'. However, feminist lawyer Gloria Allred fired back at the perma-tanned presidential hopeful, calling him 'a fourth rate politician and a fifth rate human being'.

Meanwhile, Ted Boutrous, the global co-chair of Gibson Dunn's litigation group, has promised to 'represent pro bono anyone Trump sues for exercising their free speech rights' and apparently he is not alone. 'Many other lawyers have offered to join me,' he said on Twitter.

With the UK's national pro bono week coinciding with the November presidential election, lawyers with dual qualification might consider popping over the pond to help Allred and Boutrous. SJ can think of few better ways of hitting your pro bono hours target than taking on 'the Donald'. After all, it's unlikely he'll be elected president anyway, right?