Although no one legally needs a reason to fire a consultant, it’s another matter entirely to allegedly defame that consultant to other potential clients. According to a recent defamation lawsuit, that’s allegedly what happened after Tim Semmerling was fired from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Military Commissions.
Semmerling, who lives in Illinois, opened his own mitigation services practice in 2010, called The Mercury Endeavor LLC, which specializes in working with Arabs, Muslims, and the military.
Semmerling said he was contacted in June of 2011 by Cheryl Bormann, another Illinois resident who is a qualified lead counsel attorney for death penalty litigation. At the time, Bormann was working as a defense attorney for a member of al-Qaeda who was being held at Guantanamo Bay while facing charges pertaining to the terrorist attack that happened on September 11, 2001.
According to the complaint, Bormann allegedly offered to hire Semmerling as the client’s mitigation specialist and instructed him to not accept any offers from other defense teams.
Semmerling said he started working for the client in October of 2011 when he traveled to Washington to meet with Bormann and the rest of the capital defense team. In July 2012, he made another trip to Washington for an interview with agents of the CIA so he could get the security clearance required to serve his new client. According to the complaint, Bormann and Michael Schwartz, a U.S. Air Force officer who was acting as an attorney on assignment at the Military Commissions Defense Organization, allegedly told Semmerling to be open and honest with the CIA operatives, and so when they asked questions about his personal life, Semmerling allegedly did not hold back from talking about his long-term, romantic relationship with another man. Continue reading