US firm King & Spalding drops DOMA brief

King & Spalding has decided to drop the politically-sensitive brief to defend the US Defense of Marriage Act (‘DOMA’). DOMA was enacted in 1996 to prevent recognition of same-sex marriages. The Obama administration recently announced that the government would no longer defend the legislation, and Republican House speaker John Boehner responded by hiring Paul Clement of King & Spalding to defend the Act on a $500,000 retainer. After suffering the outrage of staff and clients, firm chairman Robert Hays has announced that the firm will not accept the brief. Hays apologised and stated the pre-engagement vetting had been "inadequate". Paul Clement has resigned from the firm.

US firm King & Spalding drops DOMA brief Tue, May 10, 2011