WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — A partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Reed Smith is stepping in to fight the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Council over their decision to delay the District’s attorney general election.


Paul Zukerberg, a Washington, D.C., attorney who specializes in defending marijuana possession cases and who initially filed the lawsuit against the board and council, said this week Reed Smith partner Gary Thompson will serve as his attorney, pro bono.

Thompson practices complex commercial litigation at Reed Smith, and has won several awards for his pro bono and community service.

Zukerberg, who ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat on the District council, originally filed his suit in the District of Columbia Superior Court Sept. 30.

The case has since been removed to federal court at the defendants’ request.

If the court grants Zukerberg’s requested motion for a preliminary injunction, the board will be prohibited from removing the office of elected attorney general from the District’s 2014 ballot.

Without the injunction, voters would not be permitted to elect an attorney general before 2018, according to a new law passed by the council and approved without Mayor Vincent Gray’s signature.

Judge James “Jeb” Boasberg for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia already has granted the plaintiff’s request for an expedited schedule of briefs and argument.

The defendants’ opposition to the preliminary injunction was due Wednesday.

Zukerberg has until noon Monday to file his reply brief.

A hearing on the preliminary injunction is set for 10 a.m. Nov 7. That is one day before the signature petition process begins for the April 1, 2014 Democratic primary election.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.