Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Defense Attorney Wears a Wire and Meets with Clients. Fed Prosecutor Apparently Wired Him.

Posted by Alan Childress

Wow.  I missed this harrowing story a few weeks ago, out of Nebraska, but -- thanks to my ethics student Jeff Malfatti -- here it is (in a newsy and interesting article by Todd Cooper of the Omaha World-Herald). It is called Lawyer goes into hiding and is well worth a look.  A peek at it:

In measured words, the Omaha attorney confides that he is in hiding after he wore a wire to help the U.S. government indict inmate Shannon E. Williams and 10 others in a massive marijuana conspiracy.

I realize I could lose my law license over this, his friends have recalled him saying in recent weeks. But, please, don't jump to conclusions. Williams talked about committing crimes, about eliminating witnesses. I had to do something.

And that's it. Just as quickly as he tantalizes former colleagues, he shuts down — saying federal prosecutors have asked him not to talk about why he chose to risk his legal career, even his life, by taking on the marijuana ring and its alleged kingpin.

In a case that will hinge in large part on Haddock's credibility, here's what Haddock doesn't always divulge: His involvement in the federal investigation came after a yearlong stretch in which his personal and professional lives began to circle the drain.

A pretty strong reply by defense attorney Bobby Frederick in his blog -- "this scenario reeks."  And he asks the $64M question:  "The lawyer who participates in this ... probably is facing legal troubles of his own and could care less if he is disbarred for what he has done. But what about the prosecutor who set it up or who uses the evidence after the police have set it up?"

The lawyer's firm lists him as a banking and bankruptcy lawyer.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2010/01/defense-attorney-wears-a-wire-and-meets-with-clients-fed-prosecutor-apparently-wired-him.html

Ethics, Privilege | Permalink

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