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Knowledge, strategy, persistence, yield two U.S. Supreme Court victories

The twin wins of the Finney Law Firm before the United States Supreme Court in 2014 have roots in a case that has had broad impact in the law, in ethics, in politics, and in the media.

In 2009, our attorneys commenced their representation of David Krikorian in charges of “false claims” before the Ohio Elections Commission over allegations made during the 2008 Congressional election against Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.  In that proceeding, Krikorian was ultimately found to have made several false statements in the course of an election campaign, but the attorneys became convinced that Krikorian was railroaded in an unconstitutional process enforcing an unconstitutional statute that must be stopped.

Thus, when opportunities arose in 2010 and 2011 to challenge the statute in federal court for their client, COAST, Finney Law Firm  attorneys were both prepared and motivated to seize the moment.

Starting with carefully-detailed Complaints in each case, Finney Law Firm attorneys crafted a litigation strategy that set the case up perfectly for the two Supreme Court cases that yielded the victories in 2014.

The U.S. Supreme Court accepts fewer than 100 cases each term out of more than 10,000 “certiorari petitions” filed each year.  Thus, the precise positioning of the cases to attract the Justices attention as worthy of review was critical to success.  Crafting the arguments around an important 2012 First Amendment decision, United States v. Alvarez, and even knowing the comments made by the Justices during oral argument in that case, it was apparent that the Justices already know about the Ohio statute, and had invited its review by the Court.

Thus, even though the Ohio statue had withstood challenges since its enactment in 1974, and even though 18 federal judges had refused to even review the statute since just 2012, Finney Law Firm attorneys saw an opening to right this wrong.

Within 60 days of the firm’s founding, the first of the two cases was accepted by the Supreme Court, and within the first eight months, two important wins were secured.

These were victories borne from knowledge of the law, strategic and precise positioning of the case in appellate briefs and argument, and persistence throughout the long appellate process.

We made a difference not only for our client in this important case, but for our community as well, as this important First Amendment victory was doggedly pursued and won.


As a side note to the Supreme Court wins, the Krikorian case continued into a defamation action initiated by Congressman Schmidt in 2011, funded by a special interest group in Washington, D.C.  Such funding was in violation of House of Representatives rules.  Our attorneys not only defended that action until Schmidt dropped it, but  pursued ethics charges against Schmidt such that she was ordered to repay $500,000 in ill-gotten legal fees by the House Ethics Committee, which contributed to her electoral loss in March of 2012.  The Federal Elections Commission continues to investigate the affair.

Here, we made a difference as well.