Attention Attorneys

Attention Attorneys

Billable hours.

Now that we have your attention, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Bar, a question, please. It does pertain to time.

We at NotionsCapital are the only non-lawyers on our block here in Washington, DC.  Our legal question regards the representation of one Karl Rove in response to a subpoena from a House Judiciary subcommittee, for which he failed to appear.

 Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D, CA-39) says Mr. Rove’s lawyer, Robert D. Luskin of Patton Boggs, had been in communication with committee staffers for weeks, but neglected to tell them that his client had scheduled a trip abroad, to the Crimea, during the time of the committee meetings.

The question: should Mr. Luskin be charged with Contempt of Congress along with Mr. Rove?

Lawyers should never volunteer more information about clients than they have to, but this appears to go well beyond that, and seems downright evasive. Doesn’t it obstruct the work of Congress? That is the very letter of 2 U.S.C.A. § 192, punishable by a year in prison and a dinky fine. A year in prison! That’s 8,765 hours (or in lawyer terms, 87,658 billable hours)!

Counselors: what say you? Charge Mr. Luskin with Contempt of Congress? Discipline him through the DC Bar or Federal Bar Association? Slap him on the wrist? Slap him on the back and buy him a drink?

 Buy him a Koktebel or Tavria brandy. That’s what Mr. Rove is probably drinking right now in the Crimea.

Image by Mike Licht. Have your paralegal download a copy here. Credit: Mike Licht,

2 Responses to “Attention Attorneys”

  1. Lawrence E. Rafferty Says:

    I do not think holding Mr. Luskin in contempt is the correct thing to do. He didn’t have to deal with the vacation issue because he already told the committee that he was instructing the Rovester to blow off the subpoena. I think Karl will be spending some time in his own cell, without his attorney in the bunk next to him.

  2. Mike Licht Says:


    It is true that Mr. Luskin sent the committee a letter asserting Mr. Rove’s “Executive Privilege” claim, and he may state his believe that reasoning would prevail, but the courts have denied similar claims in the past. If there were logistical reasons Mr. Rove could not attend, was it not up to Mr. Luskin to make those known?

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