Judge clears way for SEAL’s lawsuit alleging faulty legal advice over bin Laden tell-all
By Brian Seay
Matt Bissonnette, then a member of Navy Seal Team 5, training in San Diego in 2001. (Photo: Technical Sergeant Brian Snyder/US Air Force)
A former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about shooting Osama bin Laden will be able to continue with a lawsuit against the attorney he claims gave him faulty advice.
A federal judge in Indiana denied a defense motion Monday to throw out the suit brought by Matt Bissonnette, pen name Mark Owen, who wrote No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden, which was released in September 2012, and hit the New York Times bestseller list.
According to court documents, Bissonnette retained attorney Kevin Podlaski and his law firm to help ensure the author was complying with nondisclosure agreements he’d entered into with the U.S. Government, and to be sure the book didn’t include classified or sensitive information that would compromise the national security interests of the United States.
Bissonnette says Podlaski told him not to submit the book to the government for a prepublication review. Podlaski read the manuscript and assured the publisher it “contained no classified or otherwise sensitive information; that it would not breach Bissonnette’s personal, contractual, or fiduciary obligations; and