Ted Cruz, the former solicitor general of Texas and candidate for Senate, complained that his opponent, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, has distorted his involvement in a case involving a Chinese rubber company according to the Houston Chronicle.
What Cruz is accused of
An ad run by the Dewhurst campaign accuses Cruz of dishonesty concerning his involvement in a case pitting an American inventor and a Chinese rubber company over an accusation of patent theft. The Dewhurst ad is suggesting Cruz is trying to downplay his involvement in the case while also quoting him as saying that he was the "lead lawyer" in the case, representing the Chinese company. The ad also quotes Cruz as saying "I am listed as the counsel of record-" and then is cut off by a voice over
What Cruz accuses Dewhurst of
Cruz, speaking on the Matt Patrick Show on Houston radio station KTRH, accuses Dewhurst of taking his statement about being the "lead lawyer," according to the Houston Chronicle. The statement is extracted from a previous radio appearance in which, after the statement in which he claims to be the counsel of record, Cruz goes on to say, "which is the lawyer that receives the service." Cruz said he did not write the brief, argue the case or even appeared in court. Thus he is suggesting Dewhurst is accusing Cruz of having more involvement in the case than he actually had.
Why Cruz is the "lead lawyer"
The Houston Chronicle account quotes Jordan M. Steiker, a law professor at the University of Texas, as suggesting Cruz is arguing what is, in effect, a "gray area" in the law that might not be fully understood by people unfamiliar with legal terminology. Steiker suggests even if his involvement in the case was minimal and the actual work was done by other lawyers, Cruz bears ultimate responsibility for being listed as the "counsel of record."
Why the case is controversial
According to the Houston Chronicle, Jordan Fishman, an American inventor, won a $26 million judgment against a Chinese rubber company and a tire distributor for infringing on his patent for a new type of tire. Cruz's law firm is representing the Chinese company on the appeal. Dewhurst, with the cooperation of Fishman, is attacking Cruz for what it suggests is siding with a Chinese company against an American entrepreneur. Dewhurst's campaign website cites a number of press accounts to back up its attack.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.