John Pierce, a high-profile conservative attorney who is representing a number of the January 6 defendants has apparently been hospitalized for a couple of weeks and has not been communicating either with his clients or the court.
Attempting to step in to temporarily take his place in these cases has been Ryan Marshall, an associate from Pierce’s law firm who is not a licensed attorney. According to the Assistant U.S. Attorney, Marshall has been appearing at court hearings and meetings with the government “for roughly the past week.”
The U.S. Attorney’s office is requesting that proceedings against these defendants be stalled until they are represented by a licensed lawyer.
This is not a frivolous matter. Non-lawyer associates are often knowledgeable people, but that is not the point. A defendant deserves the protection that only a licensed lawyer can provide, including, sadly, legal recourse in cases of malpractice.
It says something about the quality and integrity of the U.S. Attorney’s office that they have been proactive (even though not required to do so) in ensuring that the defendants in the January 6 cases are represented appropriately.