Larry Klayman to Joe Arpaio’s ‘Rescue’ in Contempt Case

Okay, this is hilarious. Larry Klayman, the worst lawyer in America not named Mat Staver, already represents Joe Arpaio in his absurd lawsuit against Obama’s immigration orders, but now he’s trying to intervene in his contempt case in Arizona too. And get a load of this chutzpah:

Now Klayman has filed documents in the separate Arpaio case asking to be allowed to intervene – and to have Snow disqualified.

Klayman said in a statement about the issue that the motion cites “ethics violations and extra-judicial bias and prejudice.”

“As set forth in the pleadings, Judge Snow has unethically turned the case into a personal vindictive ‘witch-hunt’ over his wife’s statements quoting the judge and intending to harm Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s chances for re-election in 2016 as sheriff of Maricopa County through the contempt proceedings which Judge Snow has been holding,” he wrote.

Klayman’s statement explained, “The pleadings explain the basis for the disqualification and are supported by the sworn declaration of renowned ethics professor and expert Ronald Rotunda. Caught in the judge’s ‘crossfire’ of his ‘contempt’ for Sheriff Joe Arpaio is whistleblower Dennis Montgomery, whose due process, attorney/client privileges, work product and intellectual property rights have been violated.”

Klayman’s filing explains at length:

“As explained by Professor [Ronald] Rotunda, Judge Snow now has – by his own admission – an incurable personal interest in the case, at least in this new phase of this case as it has metastasized into something entirely new. At this stage, Judge Snow is the sole decision-maker in the case. By his own official inquiry, statements, and questions in open court, on the transcript, Judge Snow admits that the investigation now concerns – as least as the judge believes – the judge’s wife. As proclaimed by Judge Snow himself, Judge Snow is now unethically investigating issues about his own family.”

He continued, “This began when reports were published that Judge Snow’s wife stated to several witnesses at a restaurant that her husband, Judge Snow, wanted to do everything possible in his conduct of this case to make sure Arpaio is not re-elected as sheriff in the upcoming elections. Apparently neither Judge Snow nor his wife have denied nor sought to explain his wife’s public statement as far as intervenor or counsel are able to determine. Instead, Judge Snow is determined to investigate and threaten Dennis Montgomery and others have confirmed that Judge Snow’s wife did make the statement at issue.”

Perhaps some background is in order. Arpaio admitted under oath a couple weeks ago that he hired a private investigator to go after Judge Snow’s wife. So now Klayman is arguing that the fact that Arpaio did that means the judge must recuse himself because he’s got a personal involvement in the case. So now all you would have to do to get a judge recused is to try to investigate them while the court is investigating you. That’s some serious chutzpah. Only from the mind of Larry Klayman.

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  • eric

    Arpaio has decided to use Klayman to defend him against the contempt charge?

    1. Yay!

    2. Maybe the other side should reconsider going after criminal contempt. They aren’t going to get a better shot at it than this.

  • gronank

    It might be unseemly for Judge Snow to nail Arpaio to the floor for attempting to pervert the course of justice, but certainly not for the replacement judge if Snow recuses himself.

    Unless, of course, Arpaio didn’t attempt to pervert the course of justice in which case no recuse is necessary.

    So which is it, Arpaio?

  • Chiroptera

    Wouldn’t it be great to see Larry Klayman and Matt Staver represent each other? It’d be kinda like that Escher print of two hands drawing each other, but with more stupid!

  • cycleninja

    Serious question for the crowd: Does anyone here think Klayman will ever be disbarred? There are plenty of judges out there of whom he’s run afoul, and I can’t think it would take much at this point.

  • kantalope

    Arpaio could investigate the new judge too, ad infinitum, and they would have to keep recusing themselves until there aren’t any judges left and the statute of limitations runs out. Ah justice.

  • John Pieret

    Arpaio has Klayman representing him now? I hope Arpaio has a spare pair of pink underwear ready!

  • daved

    Having Klayman intervene in your case is like throwing an anchor to a drowning man.

  • abb3w

    @1, eric

    Maybe the other side should reconsider going after criminal contempt.

    The “other side” is the civil plaintiff, who cannot decide for themselves whether criminal contempt is to be pursued; my non-lawyer’s understanding criminal contempt charges must be filed by a prosecutor — federal, in this instance. A judge can only request criminal contempt prosecution, or use the inherent contempt power.

    @5, kantalope

    Arpaio could investigate the new judge too, ad infinitum, and they would have to keep recusing themselves until there aren’t any judges left and the statute of limitations runs out.

    Or any ruthless defendant with deep pockets. Kayman’s legal theory seems fundamentally problematic, for that reason. However, there’s a legal principle called “Rule of Necessity”, discussed in the ruling of US v Will; essentially, if all judges could potentially be disqualified by a conflict of interest, no judge needs to recuse themselves. Contrariwise, perhaps the defendant might skip a judge who they know to be sympathetic (or bribable to become so). Nohow, that prospect does not seem likely to get the courts happy. If the judge doesn’t directly invoke the Rule of Necessity, I suspect the judge will rule that since the conflict of interest is a result of the deliberate actions of the defendant after proceedings began, the defendant can damn well live with the consequences.

    This seems more likely a “NO U” motion by Klayman. Also, as I noted in the last Arpaio thread comments, this stuff with Montomery is potentially introducing a conflict of interest between clients for Klayman; I’m not sure if it’s possible for a clear conflict of interest for the lawyer to be basis for a court to order a party to get a new lawyer, or whether the court can merely require that the party indicate that they will be satisfied with the representation regardless of conflict, and expressly disavow incompetent representation as potential basis for appeal.

  • zenlike

    Not so sure of this Ed, apparently uncle Joe has used this tactic before, and with success!

    From a commentor in a previously linked piece:

    Robbie Sherwood ·

    Executive Director at ProgressNow

    We’ve seen this movie before. No way does Arpaio just casually let it slip, in an apology no less, that he has investigated Judge Snow’s wife. This is a pattern with him, investigate the investigator so they have a conflict. Here’s an example.

  • ffakr

    @ #3


    Klayman and Staver representing each other would be like an M.C. Escher drawing where two hands were drawing each other with broken crayons.

  • blf

    Klayman and Staver representing each other would create a black hole of stoopidity so dense even Wile E Coyote would not attempt to use it.