Legal and Ethical Analysis of Pat Parker & Associates

Essay by dkogaUniversity, Master'sA, March 2007

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FactsPat Parker is the sole principal of a small research firm specializing in opposition research for political candidates. He got his first start right after graduating from law school when he became involved with a Democratic governor candidate, Chris Graham’s campaign, where he was tasked with researching opponent’s weaknesses (1).

From then on he became a research consultant and found a niche market in providing election campaigns of Democratic candidates with opposition research. Pat Parker relied on word-of-mouth advertising to grow his clientele. He does not want his customers to think of his firm as been mercenary in nature and prefers to work with only a single political party (2).

Pat Parker primarily researches into a candidate’s political record such as sponsored bills, votes in committee and on the floor, campaign promises, financial disclosures, gift reports and lawsuits. His source includes news paper articles and public records (3).

Pat Parker received a phone call from The State Academy of Trial Lawyers (Trial Lawyers) wanting to buy a copy of a research Pat Parker’s firm had prepared two years earlier for the Democratic Attorney General campaign of Dale Jackson (4).

The research was about a Republican opponent Terry Pain’s political record, but the research was never used by Jackson’s campaign. Ultimately, Terry Pain gained the financial backings of the Trial Lawyers and was able to win the election through a series of media blitz (5).

Normally, clients wouldn’t begin to contract for a research until 5 to 6 months before the primary. Pat Parker speculated that the Trial Lawyers had become aware of his firm’s earlier research and planned to use it to inoculate Terry Pain against attacks in the upcoming election (6).

Pat Parker was perplexed over the Trial Lawyers interest in the research material, especially when after...