Updated at 4:24 p.m.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals yesterday affirmed the dismissal of legal malpractice claims against Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and denounced the "contumacious behavior" of the lawyer who brought the case.
Wilmer represented the lawyer, James Pietrangelo II, as part of a legal challenge to the now-defunct "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Pietrangelo was one of a dozen former armed service members that the firm represented pro bono. He was a Wilmer client from 2004 to 2006, and then split off to pursue his own challenge on his own.
Pietrangelo accused Wilmer of interfering with his efforts to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to yesterday's opinion. Trial judges who handled the dispute at different times dismissed most of his claims, and a jury found for Wilmer on the remaining counts. A three-judge appellate panel yesterday affirmed the dismissal of Pietrangelo's claims.