June 14, 1999
Liberty Lobby bankruptcy attorney Paul Pearlstein filed a motion on June 8 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Washington, DC, to withdraw from representing Liberty Lobby. Previously, Pearlstein had written a letter to Willis Carto, “CEO and Treasurer of Liberty Lobby, Inc.,” advising that he needed to withdraw, and recommending that Liberty Lobby retain new counsel.
In the motion, Pearlstein cites “[s]ignificant and apparently insoluble differences between counsel and Willis A. Carto, CEO of the corporation” that “have caused counsel to file this motion.” Pearlstein further states that “[t]hese problems have been building over time, but they have been exacerbated in recent weeks.”
Two days before filing this motion, had Pearlstein received a letter from Mark Lane in which Lane threatened, “If you do make a motion to withdraw at this moment … I can assure you that our client has determined that there will be serious repercussions, including a complaint to Bar Counsel and a lawsuit for malpractice.”
Since Pearlstein filed his motion — which he would not have had to do if he had been fired by Liberty Lobby — Carto has been overheard telling others that he fired Pearlstein.