weather icon Mostly Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Judge won’t let widely known conservative lawyer defend Cliven Bundy

Nevada’s chief federal judge has refused to let nationally known conservative lawyer Larry Klayman join Cliven Bundy’s defense team.

In a three-page order, Gloria Navarro questioned Klayman’s candidness with her about the outcome of professional disciplinary proceedings against him in Washington, D.C.

She said his disclosure in court papers that no disciplinary action has been taken and the proceedings were likely to be resolved in his favor was “misleading and incomplete.”

Klayman can reapply to represent Bundy if he submits documents related to those proceedings, as well as disciplinary proceedings against him in Florida and clashes he had years ago with two federal judges who banned him from their courtrooms, Navarro said.

Late Friday, Klayman insisted there has been no final resolution to the case.

“There’s no imposed discipline in D.C.,” he said. “The proceedings are ongoing, and I said that in the application.”

Then, he added, “We’re going to obey the judge’s order. Whatever information she’d like is not a problem.”

Klayman, the founder of the Washington-based public interest groups Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is known for his tenacious pursuit of litigation, mostly in support of a wide range of conservative and libertarian issues.

His troubles with the Washington bar stemmed from three separate alleged conflicts of interest in litigation involving Judicial Watch after he left the organization as its legal counsel, according to court documents.

Klayman agreed to a public censure in the disciplinary case in June 2014, but Navarro said he did not give her a copy of the “petition for negotiated discipline” and an accompanying affidavit he signed.

“These documents were not provided by counsel, and they are admissions of three separate incidents of stipulated misconduct that were not clearly disclosed in Klayman’s petition,” Navarro wrote.

Last week, Klayman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Bundy family had asked for his legal help. Bundy, 69, who is in federal custody, is facing criminal charges stemming from the April 12, 2014, armed standoff with law enforcement near his ranch in Bunkerville.

Bundy is now represented by Las Vegas attorney Joel Hansen, who is active in the ultraconservative Independent American Party of Nevada.

Hansen filed court documents Thursday urging Navarro to let Klayman participate in Bundy’s defense.

The case is “proceeding on a fast pace” and Bundy “wants and needs” Klayman on his defense team to avoid harming his constitutional rights, Hansen wrote.

The Bundy family has been trying to raise money to pay Hansen and Klayman.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Find @JGermanRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.