Ammon Bundy's lawyer said he will not represent Ryan Bundy because of a conflict of interest.

Ammon Bundy’s lawyer said he will not represent Ryan Bundy because of a conflict of interest.

Conrad Wilson/OPB

The Oregon State Bar has dismissed a complaint against Mike Arnold and Lissa Casey, the attorneys for Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation leader Ammon Bundy. 

The complaint alleged that Bundy’s lawyers violated the state bar’s professional conduct rules about trial publicity. Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis filed the complaint, pointing to press conferences and reporter interviews given by Arnold and Casey.

Mike Arnold says the bar’s decision about Marquis’ complaint was as he expected.

“There’s nothing wrong with American citizens speaking up against the government, And I understand that sometimes that makes government officials like him uncomfortable. And that’s good.”

Marquis is appealing the dismissal to a higher counsel within the bar.

According to the Oregon State Bar, two of three complaints against Arnold’s firm regarding Bundy’s case have been dismissed. The remaining complaint is under review.  

Although this particular complaint was filed by a district attorney, anyone can submit a complaint about any lawyer in Oregon — even non-residents. Some of the other complaints filed against Arnold and Casey are from residents in New York and North Carolina, and were compiled into a single case for review by the bar.

The final complaint yet to be reviewed alleges that Arnold asked people on social media to file public records requests with the Oregon State Police, the Bureau of Land Management and the FBI to “frivolously burden our Government [SIC] agencies.”

Arnold said he conferred with the state bar’s council before the case about how to properly adhere to ethics rules about pretrial publicity.

“Hopefully this will educate other attorneys what the best practices are when defending individuals at this level of exposure,”  Arnold said.