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'Field marshal' for Prop 8 challenge is a Yalie

Those of us who are following the Proposition 8 case are familiar with many of the legal names. We know how David Boies ’66LLB, a Democratic stalwart, teamed with Republican rival Ted Olson to challenge California's referendum banning gay marriage. We know Olson went up against his old friend and fellow Reagan administration lawyer, Charles Cooper, in this week's US Supreme Court arguments. We might know that Yale historian George Chauncey ’77, ’89PhD, testified at the trial in 2010.

But Chris Dusseault ’91? His name was new to me.

Turns out Dusseault was the "field marshal" on the case for Olson's law firm, Gibson Dunn. For the 2010 trial in California, Dusseault had just 45 days "to identify and hire all of our experts and prepare . . . their reports," he told a publication of his legal alma mater, Duke Law School. “And then three to four months to take and defend the depositions of some 25 witnesses.”

An experienced  litigator, Dusseault was used to taking depositions—but about business, not about people's identities and their very lives: "‘Why do you love the person you love, couldn’t you love someone else?’ These are questions that are astonishing to think about, let alone have to answer under oath," he says.

Filed under Proposition 8, gay marriage, US Supreme Court, Chris Dusseault
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