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NRA Seeks to Delay Board Member's Deposition in Bankruptcy Case

NRA Seeks to Delay Board Member's Deposition in Bankruptcy Case
Carolyn Meadows was elected president of the NRA during a board meeting Monday, April 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 March 2021 12:22 PM

The National Rife Association argued Monday that the court should delay the deposition of a disgruntled board member by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has accused the organization of misleading the courts in its bankruptcy filings.

NRA attorney Gregory Garman told a federal bankruptcy court during an expedited hearing that both sides have made progress toward a deal to allow the deposition, but the NRA said it needed more time to review the documents that the board member, Phillip Journey, wants from James.

"We have every reason to believe that, against our wishes, third parties had turned over privileged documents to the New York attorney general," he told Judge Harlin Hale, according to the Washington Free Beacon. "We object to it being turned over and we requested a mere 96 hours, which is an unimaginably short amount of time to attempt to get through 1.7 million pages, before being turned over to third parties."

James was set to depose Journey last week, but was temporarily blocked on Thursday after Journey claimed that the board had not been informed of the bankruptcy. He told the Free Beacon earlier this month that NRA President Carolyn Meadows sent a notice to the 76 members of the organization’s board informing them of a briefing on their "reorganization plan," before they declared bankruptcy.

"The sole purpose of the meeting is to provide a briefing to the Board regarding the NRA's reorganization plan and the legal matters overseen by the Special Litigation Committee, and to take any necessary action directly related to those matters," the letter said. 

But Journey, who is a family court judge in Kansas, told the Free Beacon that the board didn't know the NRA was declaring bankruptcy when they voted to empower a special ;itigation committee last January, and he didn't find out until his daughter showed him a news story about it.

"You could have seen the top of my car blow off with my head," Journey said. "Because I knew what that meant. It meant that those three lawyers committed a lie of omission of material facts to the board of directors. Nobody said bankruptcy." 

The NRA denied Journey’s claims in a statement.

"Judge Journey purportedly supports the mission of the NRA, and claims not to oppose the Association seeking to reincorporate in Texas," NRA counsel William A. Brewer III said in a statement. "Unfortunately, he seems to mistakenly believe the NRA reorganization plan did not follow board and internal protocol. This plan was undertaken in full compliance with NRA policy. The plan has been widely endorsed by NRA board members, NRA members, elected officials, and other key stakeholders." 

James’ office argued on Friday in a filing that they needed to depose Journey in order to establish that the NRA’s leaders did not seek approval from the board before officially declaring bankruptcy.

"In the event that the NRA purposefully hid the bankruptcy filing from its Board and sought Board approval through the trickery of placing it ambiguously into an Employment Agreement, those facts cannot be shielded by privilege," the attorney general's office wrote in a filing. "Those issues are at the core of what this Court needs to hear."

Garman told the judge Monday that the NRA and James' office has attempted "to come to an agreement," but have not been able to.

"We're trying to come to an agreement," he said. "This issue may be before you, probably will be before you, because I just simply don't know how to get through 1.7 million documents any faster, particularly since literally depositions are occurring while this hearing is taking place." 

The judge ordered further arguments be made, which will take place on Wednesday in a hearing that will also address several other issues involved in the case.

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The National Rife Association argued Monday that the court should delay the deposition of a disgruntled board member by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has accused the organization of misleading the courts in its bankruptcy filings...
nra bankruptcy, court, case, letitia james, new york
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2021-22-16
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 12:22 PM
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