The North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention named Wilmer Hale—the leftist, pro-LGBTQ and Democrat supporting law firm—part of its legal team as it heads into trial in the case of McRaney v. NAMB. The move comes as discovery in the case including depositions are coming to an end and a trial date looms in early June.
The law firm is considered a “visionary national legal partner of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.” The other law firm working the case for NAMB is Butler Snow—and its website does not show the same radical LGBTQ agenda.
This late move means one thing—NAMB realizes discovery is not going its way and that it very well could lose the case. Why else make this move with trial so close and with a law firm with its radical LGBTQ agenda? This is a Hail Mary—no doubt in hopes that some appeal can be crafted to prevent the case proceeding to trial.
Wilmer Hale is considered “the most liberal law firm,” in America. The firm’s full name is Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr. Of note, the Cutler is Lloyd Cutler who served as White House counsel to Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
Wilmer Hale is a top bankroller for Democrats, according to reports. In the 2022 election cycle, 91.78% of donations from the Wilmer Hale went to Democrats. One of the top recipients in 2022 was Raphael Warnock, the radical anti-life Democrat senator from Georgia. This was a continuation of the 2022 cycle where “Employees at the five most active law firms in the 2020 cycle gave a combined $4.1 million to Democratic candidates so far. That is more than five times the amount employees at those firms gave to Republicans. That is the highest ratio of Democrat-to-Republican spending at that group of firms since at least 1990. The group includes include Paul Weiss, Kirkland & Ellis, Akin Gump, WilmerHale and Sullivan & Cromwell, all among the country’s 100 largest firms by revenue.”
Wilmer Hale already made one appearance in the McRaney case—when NAMB petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn the verdict of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. That petition was denied. As we noted at the time, NAMB’s filings with SCOTUS and other federal courts contained numerous factual errors.
According to court documents, Timothy J. Perla of Wilmer Hale filed an appearance in the case and the court accepted it. Perla’s bio on the Wilmer Hale website says his “recent successes” included “leading the defense of securities litigation brought against Theranos and orchestrating the defense of nearly 30 related securities cases brought against a renewable energy company.”
A security litigator is an “odd fit” for the McRaney case, said one legal observer . Another pointed out that this could be yet another delaying tactic in hopes the Supreme Court makes a favorable ruling in several pending ministerial exception cases. Another legal observer wondered if this might be a prelude to settlement talks—by showing NAMB is willing to continue its fight with even more lawyers, it might improve its bargaining position.
Closely related to this development, Kevin Ezell’s deposition in the case was delayed until March 2, 2023.