Monday, September 24, 2007
Both the New York Times here and the ABAJrl.com here are reporting that prosecutors in the KPMG related case are trying to conflict-out two defense counsel. The prosecutors are claiming that the two defense counsel may have provided legal advice to David Amir Makov, who is now cooperating with the government. Interestingly, the ABAJrl.com states that the lawyers for Makov do not see the problem alleged by the government. If the witness has his own lawyer, and that lawyer doesn't see the issue, why is the government claiming one exists?
The term "secret defense agreement" as used in the article may make what occurred here sound somewhat nefarious. In reality, joint defense agreements are quite common today. Multiple defendants will enter into these agreements for the purpose of exchanging information yet maintaining the attorney-client privilege. They also allow the multiple defendants to cut costs by perhaps hiring one accountant, investigator, or other expert. With the costs placed upon defendants facing white collar charges, this is understandable. These agreements, however, can become a problem when one defendant who is a party to the agreement decides to testify for the government.