Wednesday, August 22, 2012
It's the time of the year when law professors are looking for new cases to use as teaching examples. If you teach professional responsibility and want a good illustrative Rule 4.2 case , check out a decision issued today by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The attorney represented a defendant in a homicide case. He instructed his investigator to interview a co-defendant of his client who had entered a guilty plea and was cooperating with the prosecution.
Unfortunately, the co-defendant was represented by counsel in the matter. The attorney failed to seek or obtain permission from counsel to speak with the co-defendant. The investigator took a written statement.
The court rejected the attorney's contention that the co-defendant was not represented by counsel in the matter at issue and the alternative contention that such interviews are "authorized by law."
The attorney had prior discipline. A 60-day suspension was imposed. (Mike Frisch)