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It’s Shameful, Really Shameful for AG Herring to Run Ads That Disparage Lawyers!

I was appalled to hear on my television the Mark Herring ad criticizing GOP nominee John Adams for the defense of various corporate entities:


Now I have commented on this before.  And it is shameful for a fellow lawyer to play to anti-lawyer bigotry (and yes I called a Republican on this too) about the clients Adams represents.

Many of Adams’ corporate clients get charged with civil offenses by governments and many times the result is a settlement.  But unlike a guilty plea in a criminal case, it can be difficult to defend successfully a civil fine – the burden of proof is either preponderance of the evidence or maybe clear and convincing evidence (I call preponderance getting across the 50 yard line and clear and convincing scoring a field goal) not beyond a reasonable doubt.  And maybe there was a technical violation or violations by lower-level supervisors or managers.  The corporation is still civilly liable.

It is not fair for AG Herring to criticize Adams for defending corporate clients when he refused to defend HIS client:  the Commonwealth of Virginia on both marriage and redistricting.

A regular lawyer who abandoned his client like this would face bar charges.  A criminal attorney appointed on appeal and finds the appeal of the criminal trial frivolous has still to fine a brief and ask to withdraw.  Herring did neither.  He took his office and opposed the state constitution and laws of the Commonwealth.

I would appeal to a sensible liberal-leaning voter:  Do you want an Attorney General who will defend ALL the laws of the land – whether he or she agrees with them – or only defend ones he or she agrees with?  What if some ultra-conservative refuses to defend the abortion laws?

I am told John Adams is actually a descendant of the John Adams, our second President, and who defended the British soldiers accused of firing on colonists during the Boston Massacre:

Raised Baptist, Adams said his views are grounded in religious faith. He is the grandson of the Rev. Theodore F. Adams, who was on cover of Time in 1955 as president of the Baptist World Alliance. Another, more distant relative is his namesake: President John Adams, who as a young lawyer put his own feelings aside to represent British soldiers charged with murder in the Boston Massacre, ensuring they got a fair trial.

The future President did so because everyone is entitled to a defense.

Now some unsolicited advice to Adams:  Come out for a statewide public defender system.  Ensure better access to equal justice for all, regardless of poverty, accused of serious crimes.  And ask Mark Herring:  Do you agree and if so, why did you not support publicly this idea?

It’s shameful for one lawyer to run an ad like this.  I appeal to the Attorney General to withdraw this ad and apologize to all of us colleagues in the Commonwealth.


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

10 Responses to “It’s Shameful, Really Shameful for AG Herring to Run Ads That Disparage Lawyers!”

  1. mr green jeans


  2. Rivahmitch says:

    Elwood, you write “I would appeal to a sensible liberal-leaning voter”.

    Ah… but… therein lies the rub. Where would you find such a mythical creature?

  3. Hyra Voters says:

    The problem is that Herring’s opponent John Adams is a McGuire Woods attorney to rich white collar criminals. His brother Tray Adams is a McGuire Woods Lobbyist. McGuire Woods Consulting is a lobby firm to Dominion Power and other corporate criminals.

    John Adams became the Republican nominee for Attorney General without a single vote being cast for him. The Grand Old Party put Rob Bell who should have been the nominee in a cigar smoke filled room and told him there would be no “MONEY” for him if he didn’t drop out so Adams could have the nomination unopposed.

    …and that’s why Mark Herring will be re-elected. Blame the GOP- not the Democrats. Former Republican voters like me aren’t voting for that BS Ticket the Republican Party of Virginia is selling.

    Vote Cliff Hyra and leave the remaining ballot BLANK in November.

    • Sandy Sanders

      I find it amazing at best that you would rather have a liberal partisan AG whether Gillespie or Hyra wins the governorship. If either win, AG Herring will probably sue the governor for some real or imagined violation of law when it is in his political interests to do so.

      So I appeal to Hyra voters: Protect your candidate in the event he wins. Vote Adams for AG.

      Thanks for coming by.

  4. Ex Officio Republican Voter says:

    Look Mr. Sanders:

    As a long time reader of this blog I know you are a frustrated Libertarian/ Republican apologist voter who will probably vote for Cliff Hyra for the top job and John Adams for AG. But you don’t understand that voters vote PARTY almost exclusively down the ballot in state elections. So John Adams can’t be carried over the finish line in a Northam victory despite what the Republican GOPe is attempting to sell in Virginia.

    The fact is: Ed Gillespie is NOT Qualified to be Governor. He’s probably as unqualified as Terry McAwful was and is and gridlock has worked just fine during the last four years with a Republican majority GA. EnRon Ed has had two jobs in his life- collecting checks as RNC Chair and passing out Checks as a Lobbyist.

    There will be a landslide victory for Ralph Northam, the sitting Lt. Gov, who is a VMI graduate, a former long time senator from Democrat voter rich Chesapeake , a combat army veteran, and a pediatric neurologist.

    Northam will carry Mark Herring back into the AG’s office because the Republican Party nominated a New Jersey Democrat Lobbyist named EnRon Ed Gillespie.

    Accept it…….. and move on.

    • Sandy Sanders

      I once agreed with your analysis of the campaign and was ready to strategically vote Hyra if Gillespie had no chance. But I think Gillespie has run better than expected, Northam worse than expected and the pipeline issue might hurt Northam more than Gillespie. I especially like Gillespie’s soothing, home-spun image he cultivates. Gillespie might get help from the fascinating politico Sen. Jill Vogel his LG ticket mate.

      So I reject your premise. But Attorney General Herring must go – on November 7.

      Thanks for coming by again.


  5. Gene the Populist says:

    There is no way in hell I will vote for an establishment supplied lawyer, Lt. Gov., or Governor.

    Screw K St., screw Wall St.. Tell Tel Aviv and the power company to keep their money out of our politics. I’d rather eat cold pork and beans than eat an establishment supplied steak.

    Got it Sandy?


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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