Boehner’s law firm asks court to dismiss cannabis group’s trade secret claims

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Former Speaker of the House John Boehner attends the unveiling of his Congressional portrait at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 19, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

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  • Former President John Boehner and Esquire Patton Boggs battle allegations they stole strategic talking points from marijuana advocacy group
  • The lawsuit claimed that Boehner pulled out of a deal to join the organization before starting his own cannabis group.

(Reuters) – Lawyers for the law firm Squire Patton Boggs and former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner are asking a court in Washington, DC, to dismiss a lawsuit by a group of cannabis defense that alleged the firm stole talking points on the legalization of marijuana.

In an amended lawsuit filed in DC Superior Court in May, The 10 Campaign and its founder James Pericola alleged that Boehner, as a strategic adviser to Squire Patton Boggs, walked away from a deal to co-chair the group before launching his own advocacy for marijuana. outfit.

Boehner earlier in his career was an opponent of marijuana legalization. He resigned from Congress in 2015 and joined the global law firm the following year.

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The lawsuit claimed that Squire Patton Boggs, who has a significant lobbying practice, lifted Campaign Strategy 10 on cannabis legalization, in violation of DC’s trade secret law.

In a motion to dismiss filed June 21, attorneys for Squire Patton Boggs and Boehner said the ideas on marijuana legalization cited by The 10 Campaign are not trade secrets or nonpublic information as alleged in the lawsuit. , and are arguments that others “have publicly raised”. for more than a decade.”

Attorneys for Pericola and The 10 Campaign did not immediately return a request for comment on the filing on Friday.

The new filing also dismissed the campaign’s 10 other allegations, including that the law firm and Boehner violated collaboration agreements with the group as well as nondisclosure agreements.

Boehner and Squire Patton Boggs’ legal team, which includes Washington, DC litigation boutique Zuckerman Spaeder, did not immediately return a request for comment. A spokesperson for Squire Patton Boggs declined to comment beyond the motion to dismiss.

Attorneys for Squire Patton Boggs and Boehner also argued that, despite alleged breaches of nondisclosure agreements, the amended complaint includes “numerous instances of disclosures” made by Pericola and The 10 Campaign without such safeguards in place, including presentation materials prepared for other groups.

The plaintiffs did not specify how they were injured by the company and Boehner, according to the petition.

The case is The 10 Campaign, LLC et al v Squire Patton Boggs LLP et al. in DC Superior Court, No. 2022-CA-001594.

For Complainants: Christopher Nace of Paulson & Nace and Bruce Braley of Leventhal Puga Braley

For the defendants: Graeme Bush of Zuckerman Spaeder and Steven McCool of McCool Law

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Jacqueline Thomson

Thomson Reuters

Washington, DC-based Jacqueline Thomsen covers legal news related to politics, the courts, and the legal profession. Follow her on Twitter at @jacq_thomsen and email her at [email protected]

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