The lawsuit that nearly wrecked the National Rifle Association has been settled.
The case filed by the NRA against its longtime advertising vendor, Ackerman McQueen, was scheduled for trial last week in the Northern District of Texas, but instead the parties filed notice with U.S. District Judge Joe Fish that they “have reached a settlement.”
The settlement is not spelled out. The parties requested, and were granted, until March 21 to finalize settlement terms along with their request that the lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice.
Neither side was immediately available for comment Tuesday.
The NRA sued Ackerman in 2019 accusing the Oklahoma-based firm of wrongfully continuing to promote its connection to the gun group even though the relationship had ended months earlier. The NRA also accused Ackerman of fraudulent billing practices.
In what became a widely reported series of revelations, Ackerman countersued, claiming that the NRA, its controversial leader Wayne LaPierre and Dallas-based attorney Bill Brewer tried to “destroy AMc’s business in a desperate attempt to deflect attention from the NRA’s gross financial mismanagement.”
The gross-mismanagement accusations that followed prompted a New York attorney general’s investigation. In an effort to avoid what the NRA viewed as politically motivated scrutiny in New York, the NRA filed for bankruptcy protection in the Northern District of Texas, seeking to relocate the organization to the Lone Star State. The NRA’s move was rejected in May 2021 by Bankruptcy Judge Harlin Hale as having been filed “not in good faith.”
Early this month a New York state judge rejected an effort by the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, to put the NRA out of business, but allowed a lawsuit brought by her office to continue.
In filing the suit, New York described the NRA’s history of gun advocacy as “a grim story of greed, self-dealing and lax financial oversight.”
The lawsuit filed in Texas, now settled, was equally bitter, and at one point, lawyers for Ackerman — Michael Gruber and Brian Mason of Dorsey & Whitney — sought to have Brewer’s firm removed from the litigation as attorneys for the NRA.