Today I have the honor to serving as the keynote speaker for the Federal Bar Association Orlando Chapter’s conference. I will be speaking at noon at the U.S Courthouse on the Supreme Court’s history and current controversies. This will obviously include the long standing vacancy of the seat once held by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
We recently discussed the suspension of Kirk Nurmi, the attorney for Arizona murderer Jodi Arias. Nurmi allegedly sought to cash in on his representation by revealing confidential information in his self-published book, “Trapped with Ms. Arias.” The former lawyer for Casey Anthony has fared little better. Todd Macaluso withdrew from the Casey Anthony case in 2010 after California ethics authorities accused him of mishandling client trust account money. Macaluso has now been arrested for an alleged conspiracy to fly at least 3,300 pounds of cocaine from Ecuador to Honduras in an effort to smuggle drugs into the United States.
University of Arkansas’ Dean, Michael Schwartz, has resigned after a backlash to his reaction over the election of Donald Trump. Schwartz, who has served four years as Dean, free counseling services to students who “feel upset” following the “most upsetting, most painful, most disturbing election season of my lifetime.”
Donald Trump is under fire for saying this week that he is not legally bound to avoid conflicts of interest because such ethical standards do not apply to him. Various commentators objected but Trump insisted “The law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.” Trump is legally correct. There is a public disclosure rule that applies but not a binding conflict of interest law. The federal law exempts not just the President but also the Vice President.
Kirk 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.
We have previously discussed the extraordinary prospect of a President-elect Donald Trump being called as a witness between his election and his inauguration. That prospect is still quite real, even though U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel pushed both sides to settle the case involving Trump University. He also rejected a motion to bar campaign statements by Trump at trial, an interesting ruling that seems in part due to the failure to specify the statements that the defense wanted to exclude from trial.
The Justice Department is under fire for allowing the involvement in the investigation of a high-ranking official with close ties to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Now, in the latest disclosure of emails, it appears that Peter Kadzik, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, proved tips to Podesta on developments in the email controversy.