Arnold Law Steps Down as Bundy Attorney
Ammon Bundy, the leader of the highly publicized protest at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, outside of Burns, Oregon, has hired a new attorney. Arnold Law filed a notice of “substitution of counsel,” for J. Morgan Philpot, late Wednesday.
J. Morgan Philpot, is a former Utah state representative who is a member of both the Utah and Oregon bars. His practice involves civil litigation and criminal defense.
In a prepared statement from Mike Arnold, he explains that this is a positive move for Bundy’s defense. Philpot “is intimately familiar with the land use issues central to the Malheur protest.”
“In just over 100 days, this case has brought the debate about Western land ownership to a national stage,” Arnold states. “This case will allow a debate about constitutional rights to continue long after the trials for the protesters conclude.”
We include the full statement below:
Join Arnold Law in Welcoming Attorney Morgan Philpot to Ammon Bundy’s Case
The Malheur protest case is much more than a criminal defense case. Because the occupation was a political protest, it will be impossible to take the case to trial without also addressing BLM policies, the FBI cover-up, and excessive use of force by the BLM and the FBI. This trial is also about a western way of life and whether it is the right of western states to govern the majority of the land within their borders — an issue that was virtually foreign to me before this protest brought it to my attention and which is largely completely foreign to our eastern neighbors.
In just over 100 days, this case has brought the debate about Western land ownership to a national stage. The protesters accomplished one of their goals—to get people talking about and examining what their Constitutional rights are and what the role of government should be. We are happy with the results of our firm promoting the First Amendment and achieving yesterday a victory for attorneys in exercising their free speech rights on behalf of their accused clients (http://bit.ly/1XxK1ao). This case will allow a debate about constitutional rights to continue long after the trials for the protesters conclude.
With that in mind, many people have a stake in how the defense of the protesters proceeds, and through our crowdsourcing efforts, thousands of people have provided support, offered leads, and offered their services. Out of that effort, a new team has coalesced that is ideally suited to tackle the issues wrapped around the prosecution of Ammon Bundy.
Today, we filed a notice of substitution of counsel for Morgan Philpot, a Utah attorney and former Utah State Representative. He is intimately familiar with the land use issues central to the Malheur protest.
Morgan is a native of Molalla, Oregon and interned at the White House in 1997 as he was attending the University of Utah. Prior to law school, he was a representative in the Utah House. Presently, his practice involves civil litigation, business advisement and criminal defense. He is a member of both the Utah and Oregon bars. (http://snip.ly/c9dm1)
Morgan’s entrance into this case is a positive step forward and does not diminish our belief in the protestors or this case. We believe in Ammon Bundy. He is a thoughtful and courageous man, a wonderful client and now a friend.
I’m proud of the role we played in the aftermath of the Malheur protest and the aftermath of the ambush and killing of LaVoy Finicum. It was our duty and pleasure to assist in a very small way with the peaceful ending to the standoff involving the final four protesters (http://bit.ly/1RrsVnu), in interviewing vital witnesses who directly deny what the discovery claims that they have said, and in setting the stage for the legal fight ahead.
Our defense theories are now secure and supported by witnesses discovered in part through our crowdsourcing efforts. At this point, we are confident in the processes ahead and of the efforts to secure an acquittal. More regarding the defenses will be revealed in upcoming court filings, some of which our team has been working on for months.
This has been an intense year where I have met a lot of amazing people, made some wonderful new friends, and learned a great deal. I feel privileged to have gotten to know the Bundy family. These men are true family men with incredibly strong wives. They have allowed me into their home, to tour the Bundy Ranch (http://snip.ly/5ocxz), and to have dinner at their table. I’m proud to call them friends. Even though I will no longer be an active participant in this case, I sincerely hope these relationships continue.
Now with the first round of motions completed, it’s the perfect time for fresh horses. I am confident that Morgan and his team will seek justice for Ammon and the other protesters. Moving forward, I will continue to support Ammon and his team.
Morgan Philpot: http://snip.ly/morgan-philpot-wikipedia