The woman at the center of sexual assault allegations against Virginia lieutenant governor and Morrison & Foerster partner Justin Fairfax has reportedly retained Katz, Marshall & Banks, the same law firm that represented U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s most high-profile accuser.
Debra Katz, founding partner of Katz, Marshall & Banks, did not respond to requests to confirm or comment on the representation, which was reported Tuesday by National Public Radio and The Associated Press.
Katz has a booming portfolio of matters related to sexual misconduct allegations. In addition to Christine Blasey Ford, whose allegations against Kavanaugh captured the nation’s attention and threatened to topple his high court nomination, Katz also counts as clients women who have alleged physical harassment by former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and women who have alleged abuse by Harvey Weinstein, among others. Amid the Kavanaugh controversy, Katz teamed up with Michael Bromwich, formerly of Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber. Bromwich is not involved in the Fairfax matter.
Fairfax vehemently denied ever assaulting anyone in a statement on Monday, vowing that he “will take appropriate legal action against those attempting to spread this defamatory and false allegation.”
The Washington Post reported Monday that it had been approached by Fairfax’s accuser, whom the paper did not name, after he was elected in November 2017. The Post said it did not run a story because it could not corroborate her account that Fairfax had sexually assaulted her during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Fairfax has called his encounter with the woman consensual.
The allegations against Fairfax were first publicized Sunday by Big League Politics, the same political blog that last week published the 1984 medical school yearbook page of Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, featuring a photo of men dressed in blackface and Ku Klux Klan robes. That photo and Northam’s evolving response have sparked accelerating calls for Northam’s resignation, which would propel Fairfax into the governor’s role.
Morrison & Foerster, where Fairfax has remained a partner while fulfilling his part-time duties as lieutenant governor, has not responded to requests for comment.