Gilbert LLP Statement Re: Cohen En Banc Review

Today, Gilbert LLP asked the full Second Circuit to grant en banc review of the dismissal of Michael D. Cohen’s claims against Donald J. Trump, William Barr, and other federal officials.  Mr. Cohen is seeking compensation for the violation of his civil liberties that Defendants committed when they locked him back in Otisville Federal Correctional Institution after he would not waive his right to speak freely about the President as a condition of his release to home confinement.  Two federal judges who reviewed Mr. Cohen’s case found that he was incarcerated as “retaliation” for his choice to speak about then-President Trump and that the dismissal of his claims did “profound violence” to his rights.  Gilbert is hopeful that the full Second Circuit will choose to review the panel decision upholding the District Court’s dismissal of Mr. Cohen’s claims to ensure that those who would use the prisons to silence their critics face a consequence for their actions.

On a day where the world’s eyes have turned toward the extreme example of government punishment of dissent—the death of Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny while in a Putin prison—the urgency of ensuring that this nation, founded in part to secure the right to dissent, has in place the legal framework necessary to ensure the courts remain the strong bulwark against the abuse of executive power that they have been since the nation’s founding.  Recent events demonstrate that much of the American experiment in freedom rests on the commitment of its leaders to following norms and traditions.  Where that commitment fails, strong and independent courts are the check the Founders envisioned.

Gilbert LLP is a Washington-based law firm specializing in litigation and strategic risk management, insurance recovery and complex dispute resolution.