Robin Vander Wall
I can’t speak for Larry, but you have fairly summarized his sentiments, I believe. Our attorneys feel the same way. Yet, it is not necessarily “hopeless.” But it is about as challenging as anything we could truly hope to win….which means that MOST attorneys aren’t going to touch it without a guarantee of money up front. Contingency fee structures are more or less off the table without a clear and promising path to victory. There is none here, and it’s a very big gamble. A serious challenge could gobble hundreds of thousands of dollars and produce absolutely nothing. This is one of the reasons why NARSOL has been slower to move on this issue (the other reason being that it was simply premature to move before the State Department had settled on a policy).
We see a lot of very winnable opportunities out there at the state and federal level. Those may not be as exciting or alluring, but they are winnable. And that counts for a lot when an organization is entrusted with money to accomplish achievable goals. You might say that NARSOL simply isn’t comfortable with the idea of pouring a lot of money into what may end up proving to be an empty pit. It might be a good fundraising strategy, but it’s not going to help a whole lot of people in the end UNLESS it’s successful. And when it comes to IML, success will definitely require the threading of a tight needle head…and some highly skilled attorneys. And, even then, it may not be enough.