Publish and Perish: Court-Appointed Lawyer For Arias Suspended For Tell-All Book

nurmi-e1479481969856Kirk Nurmi, the attorney for Arizona murderer Jodi Arias, has avoided disbarment by voluntarily accepting a suspension for four years after writing a tell-all book about his infamous client. Nurmi allegedly sought to cash in on his representation by revealing confidential information in his self-published book, “Trapped with Ms. Arias.” It wasn’t Arias but ethics that trapped Nurmi.

Arias, 36, is serving a life sentence for killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, 30, in suburban Phoenix in 2008.

41qnaixm3pl-_sx331_bo1204203200_There will be many who believe that this deal was far too generous for Nurmi who was Arias’ court-appointed counsel. Nurmi reportedly portrayed Arias unfavorably. The book relied information from private conversations as well as evidence ruled to be inadmissible. The bar determined that Nurmi was never given “written or oral permission or authority to any of her attorneys” to publish information about the case.

With the exception of being disbarred, the four-year suspension is no trivial matter. Do you think that this is sufficient punishment?

28 thoughts on “Publish and Perish: Court-Appointed Lawyer For Arias Suspended For Tell-All Book”

  1. The trial courts of the State of Arizona took five years to process an open-and-shut homicide case. It took another couple of years to hash out the sentence. In New York, the median lapse of time between arrest and verdict in felony cases tried by a petit jury is 13 months. I had a dear friend whose son wen through the criminal justice mangle, including a petit jury trial and post conviction appeals. The case went all the way to the state Court of Appeals (the court of last resort in New York). They had a jury verdict in 7 months ; the Court of Appeals’ denial of review was issued 3.5 years after his arrest (when he’d been in prison for three years).

    Here’s a suggestion: disbar everyone associated with this case. Agree to re-admit them when they can figure out how to do their jobs within a reasonable time frame.

  2. Four years’ suspension for a reckless disclosure of confidential information might be appropriate, but the punishment for intentional disclosure of this magnitude without informed consent should be disbarment and disgorgement of all profit connected to the disclosure, like speaking events, etc., not just from the book.

  3. Another lawyer doing what lawyers do. Is this really news?

    I see no complaint from the defendant here.

  4. This was a very high profile case is Phoenix and we had to listen to the TV newsreaders drone on day after day about the case. If it wore not for that, he would have only been suspended for a year.

    1. There was hardly anything to the case other than the anomaly of a handsome woman from a good family reacting to amatory rejection by slaughtering her paramour with cutlery and recording his death with digital technology. Her improvised red herrings were an irritant and a bore.

  5. Isn’t this a textbook example of violating the attorney-client privilege? I mean it’s not even close. If this is not grounds for disbarment then what is? Do law licenses come with a punch card where you get a pass on 9 ethics violations but the 10th will cost you?

  6. Definitely an interesting read. Does anyone know whether he is prohibited from collecting any proceeds from the book. Or, whether the proceeds will be redirected by the Bar? This will be deeply disturbing if he is able to keep the proceeds.

  7. Notice on the cover of the book it is printed “Part I of 3.” Presumably we won’t be seeing parts 2 and 3. He had to have known that he was taking a huge gamble with his law license, yet was so dumb and/or lazy that he only got 1/3 of his book out, and 1/3 of the profits. I recall, though, that nearly all of the O.J. lawyers, both the prosecutors and defense attorneys, published “tell all” books. Did the CA bar take any disciplinary action? I don’t recall, but I somewhat doubt it. And I also remember the original lawyer tell all, “Helter Skelter” written by the prosecutor of Charlie Manson and his clan for the gruesome Sharon Tate murders. Maybe the CA bar is more liberal about lawyers cashing in on their famous cases.

    1. TIN…
      -Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecutor in the Manson trials, so I don’t see an issue with privileged attorney/ client communication.
      I don’t know what was in the books that OJ lawyers published, or if they needed to get some kind of waiver from Simpson to write books about the case.
      Unless they revealed negative confidential information about Simpson and did so without OJ”s consent, they’d probably be in the clear.

  8. Permanent Disbarment. This wasn’t a “grey area”, this was an In-Your-Face Ethics violation.

    Has he been forced to turn over all profits to Ms. Arias so she can hire a real attorney who is not so obviously incompetent as to think blatantly violating fundamental Ethics is a-OK because such rules are for “the little people”?

    I see the book is still available on Amazon. Perhaps he will be crying all the way to the bank…

  9. ” From the photo, it appears as though her attorney may have eaten her.”

    Hmmm…. eaten by an attorney? Well I guess stranger things have happened. And some do claim attorneys are blood suckers. It’s on the Internet so it must be true.

  10. Nurmi portrayed his client unfavorably? For those of you unfamiliar with the very public and grisly details of this gruesome and savage crime, Arias is said to have cut the throat of her boyfriend so deeply that she practically decapitated him. Putting aside any ethical violations that he may have committed in writing and publishing this book, I wonder how one spins a murder, against a helpless man, in the shower, coupled with an attempted decapitation, in a favorable light?

  11. The public defenders office is reported to have spent at least $2,500,000-$3,000,000 on her defense.
    Given the evidence against her, and multiple conflicting statements she had given to deny or “explain” the murder, it was a very strong case for the prosecution, and a long shot for the defense.
    The huge expense for public defenders for Arias seemed very usual…..and it may have put a big dent in the Public Defender budget for handling other cases.

  12. Sooo, this is like a priest telling somebody that you admitted in Confession that you lusted after one of the married dudes in church. Not that I have ever lusted after a married dude in church, but I can just sooo imagine that is what it feels like/

    He should be stripped of his license, and his clothes, and forced out into the streets in his undies! Which idea did actually come up once, but I don’t want to talk about that.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. “He should be stripped of his license, and his clothes, and forced out into the streets in his undies! ”

      “Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.[1] ”

      I just hope you will send us a selfie when you finally decide to act on those repressed impulses. Poor tormented dear.

  13. Are you sure that Arias is still safely locked up in that prison? Has anyone seen her lately? From the photo, it appears as though her attorney may have eaten her.

  14. My cab driver buddy liked this lawyer story, possibly true. His ride was an attorney. He stopped at the destination, the attorney exited the cab, stepped in a big pile of dog feces, and cried out, “Help me! I’m melting!”

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