Friday, May 09, 2014

Attacking the attorney-client privilege

A reader complains about Rule 1.6:
This Rule governs the disclosure by a lawyer of information relating to the representation of a client during the lawyer's representation of the client. ... A fundamental principle in the client-lawyer relationship is that, in the absence of the client's informed consent, the lawyer must not reveal information relating to the representation.
The constitutional basis is the Sixth Amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
The thinking is that "Assistance of Counsel" requires because able to ask your lawyer confidential questions about your predicament without that being used against you in court.

Here is the lawsuit against Rule 1.6, with further argument here and here.

I am sorry, but this stuff is incoherent and is going nowhere. Apparently some guy is mad that he cannot get copies of the communications between his wife and her lawyer in a divorce court battle. There is no explanation why those documents would be useful or relevant, and no explanation of how the legal profession would ever function without an attorney-client. I realize that the privilege is occasionally abused, but this guy gives no evidence of any abuse.


Anonymous said...

Seems you completely missed the point. The REAL POINT is on the judiciary arguing and imposing it's self-proclaimed "right" to self-regulation, of which Rule 1.6 is only a component.

Your reader cites the following re: Rule 1.6 and it's counterpart in all 50 states:
"Rule 1.6 mandates confidentiality of information by lawyers and judges and prosecutors and attorneys general where the information:
- would affect the integrity of the judiciary,
- would reveal the prosecutorial misconduct of their own office, or
- would expose individual liability."

The sad thing is, George, you automatically assume attorney-client privilege does not apply to District Attorneys, State Prosecutors, etc., as well as the extension of Rule 1.6 to rules of conduct imposed by state judiciaries that goes beyond attorney-client privilege and by judicial fiat gives the legal system carte blanche to police itself. If that doesn't explain the corruption the average custody litigant in family court encounters, then it's hard to find anything else so obviously connected.

Case in point, just one of many - check out the following links, regarding the case of Rolando Cruz (states prosecutors frames defendant and sends an innocent man to death row; subsequent cover-up by the lawyers and judiciary; coup de grace - these states prosecutors then moved to higher positions in the judicial system (see 2nd link)): 1 defense-lawyers-defendants-prosection-case

As a historical side-note, some would argue that ABA's Rule 1.6 and related codes of professional conduct came about largely following the Operation Grey Lord scandal in the '80's involving widespread judicial corruption in Cook County, IL. Look that up.

Furthermore, in the citations from the sources provided by your reader on Rule 1.6, there are notable reference to other cases of judicial corruption that were finally exposed, like the "Cash for Kids" case in PA that hit headlines this past January.

It took how long and 5,000+ minors being sent to privately operated juvenile prisons, all the while two judges were receiving kick-backs totalling over $2Million, before public outrage finally brought justice? Ever wondered what was going on in the heads of all the attorneys representing the minors involved in these 5000+ cases before someone finally blew the whistle and did the right thing and stood on principles of REAL justice and ethics, and not some garbage code of professional conduct the ABA and state courts "impose" on themselves?

Rule 1.6 isn't just about Attorney-Client privilege when it extends into the state judicial codes of ethics; Rule 1.6 and its extensions into state codes of conduct is all about Self-Regulation.

Perhaps the folks filing the lawsuit challenging Rule 1.6 should've been more comprehensive and included extensions of Rule 1.6 into a states' judiciary code of professional conduct and ethics.

George, whether its Rule 1.6 of the ABA or how the judicial branch of all 50 states incorporate Rule 1.6 into their codes of professional conduct, please dig deeper before casually brushing off a potentially critical link to understanding what's behind the judicial corruption in this country.

I expect shoddy journalism from the mainstream media and propaganda machines, but seriously, you have the cases there for you to answer your own questions regarding Rule 1.6 and the harm it brings to the public relying on a fair and impartial judicial system.

Ignoring these and further misdirecting your readers with an ill-researched opinion goes beyond shoddy journalism ...

George said...

Still no explanation of how Rule 1.6 contributed to "Cash for Kids" or any other problem. Still no explanation of how we would get our 6A rights without the rule.