Big law firms didn’t want Donald Trump as a client. Now, a Miami-area boutique business is raising its profile by representing the former president.
In an announcement shared for the first time with NBC News, the president’s new attorney, Chris Kise, has joined Continental. The firm has a stable of Trump loyalists with deep ties to the Florida GOP and attorneys who describe their mission as a legal antidote to the “woke cancel culture” they say has taken over “Big Law”.
Kise, a former Florida solicitor general who was also an attorney for the governors’ transition teams of both governments. Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott, now a U.S. senator, said Continental had “exceptional firepower” to represent Trump and other clients, including conservative figures and causes.
As a South Florida-based company, Continental is well positioned for the legal battle — and possible criminal charges — related to the trove of highly sensitive documents the FBI says it seized Aug. 8 from the Mar- Trump’s a-Lago in Palm Beach.
Trump on Tuesday petitioned the Supreme Court for a special master’s review of the documents. One of Continental’s attorneys, Lazaro P. Fields, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida, joined Kise and other Trump attorneys in the case.
Other Continental attorneys include Carlos Trujillo, Trump’s former ambassador to the Organization of American States, who served at Florida House; Richard Corcoran, former DeSantis State Education Commissioner and former Speaker of the State House; Paul Hawkes, former judge of the Florida First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee; and Jesus M. Suarez, former president of the Republican National Lawyers Association and nominated by DeSantis to a judicial nominating commission.
Suarez said the company is happy to fill the void left by companies that won’t represent Trump or others like him.
“We are absolutely thrilled to represent conservatives who have been shunned by Big Law,” he said. “The fact that there is a segment of the legal establishment that does not represent a former President of the United States because they disagree with his political views is contrary to the practice of law.”
NBC News legal analyst Joyce White Vance, a former federal prosecutor, said representing Trump was not easy.
“It is not surprising that lawyers who would generally be happy to take on the representation of a former president have hesitated here,” she said, “because of the reputational damage suffered by so many attorneys who have represented the former president, including, in its most extreme forms, disbarment and prosecution”.
Michael Cohen, a former Trump attorney who pleaded guilty to a Trump-linked campaign finance scheme, said he was the worst client.
“Big companies choose not to represent Trump for two reasons: First, Trump doesn’t listen to the advice of his lawyers. In this regard, Trump’s biggest problem is himself. Second, its history of rigid law firms is notorious,” Cohen said.
Trump’s orbit is also notorious for backstabbing and internal discord, which Kise experienced last month when unnamed sources told CNN he was ‘left out’ of the case. Mar-a-Lago. Kise said that was untrue and, in support of what he said, he was listed as counsel of record on the Supreme Court filing filed Tuesday along with some of the other attorneys in the case.
Kise declined to discuss the internal dynamics of Trump’s legal team.
“I’m thrilled to work on a team with such exceptional legal firepower, and it gives me the privilege of working with good, longtime friends,” he said.