The mayor’s attorneys contend Lincoln Beauregard has been “wrongly filing documents for an improper use” since filing a lawsuit against Ed Murray on behalf of Beauregard’s client, Delvonn Heckard.
The lawyers defending Seattle Mayor Ed Murray against sexual-abuse allegations are formally seeking sanctions against the attorney representing the mayor’s accuser for violating professional standards for practicing attorneys.
In an eight-page motion filed in court Tuesday, Murray attorney Malaika Eaton contends opposing counsel Lincoln Beauregard has been “wrongly filing documents for an improper use” since bringing a lawsuit against Murray on behalf of his client, Delvonn Heckard.
“Since the initiation of this lawsuit, Mr. Beauregard has repeatedly wrongly filed correspondence with counsel and discovery papers with the Court in violation of the Civil Rules for an improper purpose,” Eaton wrote in her motion. “Defendant’s counsel has tried to avoid this motion by asking Mr. Beauregard to stop, and warning him that counsel would be forced to take appropriate action if he did not.”
Despite the warning letter sent to Beauregard on April 19 from Eaton’s co-counsel, Robert Sulkin, Beauregard continued to file frivolous letters and papers with the court, including a letter that contained “personal attacks” on Murray’s lawyers, Eaton contends.
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Sulkin and Eaton are asking the court to issue a monetary fine against Beauregard to be determined by King County Superior Court Judge Veronica Alicea-Galvan. The court has set a hearing on the matter for May 3.
Beauregard called the motion for sanctions “ridiculous.”
“They’re angry because the truth is getting out,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday. “There’s nothing at all illegal or improper with us filing documents with the court, that’s ridiculous. All they’re trying to do is change the narrative against the mayor, and they’re actively trying to intimidate us as lawyers from making a public record so you as the media can’t read it. That, if anything, is illegal.”
Beauregard responded to Murray’s attorneys with his own letter Tuesday, claiming they failed to cite an applicable rule to support their motion for sanctions.
“You really should focus your efforts on defending Ed Murray, and not attacking our law firm,” the letter states.
Eaton’s motion contends Beauregard “has already filed at least seven documents that should never have been filed … perhaps even to distract from the lack of merit of his lawsuit.”
Among the examples she cited was a story published in The Seattle Times Tuesday based on a subpoena Beauregard and his co-counsel, Julie Kays, filed Monday. The subpoena accused Murray, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and a Murray staffer of covering up a police response to a “suspicious person” report at the mayor’s Capitol Hill home last year. Murray and his house guests that night contradict statements in the subpoena, which included information obtained by Beauregard and Kays from an unknown tipster.
“This litigation is still in its infancy — unless stopped, Mr. Beauregard will continue to subvert the litigation process by disregarding the civil and local rules and Rules of Professional Conduct by continuing to misuse and abuse the Court system for his own improper use,” Eaton’s motion states.
Heckard, 46, of Kent, sued Murray earlier this month. He contends Murray repeatedly sexual abused him while Heckard was a teenage crack addict living on the streets of Seattle. Two other men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, also have separately claimed Murray sexually abused them when they were teenagers living in Portland. Both said they don’t know Heckard and are not part of his lawsuit.
Murray has rebutted the accusations as false and politically motivated. He and his team fighting against the accusations say the claims are part of a homophobic conspiracy against Murray, and they’ve raised questions about Beauregard’s law firm. The firm, Connelly Law Offices, was co-founded by Jack Connelly, a Democrat and practicing Catholic who has supported some anti-gay and -transgender political issues.
Beauregard blamed Murray’s “conspiracy theory” for injecting politics into the case.
“They’ve falsely accused our firm of having an anti-gay agenda,” he said. “They’ve disparaged lawyers’ reputations. Dignified lawyers don’t accuse other members of the bar (of being) part of a conspiracy when they have nothing to back it up. They’re going to end up embarrassed.”
Since Heckard filed his lawsuit, lawyers on both sides have provided information to the media.