After United States District Judge Sam Kent sexually assaulted Cathy McBroom, she sought legal advice from several lawyers who each advised her to remain quiet about the assaults because he was a powerful federal judge. Then Ms. McBroom met Rusty. After hearing her story, Rusty agreed to represent her pro bono and threw the full weight of his firm’s resources behind exposing the actions of Judge Kent. After conducting an exhaustive investigation and without fearing the consequences, Rusty publicly accused the judge of felony sexual assault, publicly criticized the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council’s investigation and reprimand of Judge Kent, and publicly and privately urged the Department of Justice to bring criminal charges against Judge Kent.
These claims sparked extensive news coverage of Judge Kent’s assault and the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council’s kid-glove treatment of his “sexual harassment,” in addition to Congressional outrage at Judge Kent’s conduct and a federal criminal probe. Ultimately Judge Kent was indicted, pled guilty, was sentenced to prison, and impeached. Ms. McBroom’s courage to speak out against Judge Kent, fortified by Rusty’s support, resulted in her being named Texas Lawyer’s Impact Player of the Year for 2009.