Category: Lawyering

Legal Groups Around The World Rally Behind Turkey’s Dwindling Bar On The International Day Of The Endangered Lawyer

Today, the global bar groups rallied in support of the rule of law on the “International Day of the Endangered Lawyer.” The international effort is designed to draw attention to the thousands of lawyers and judges killed or imprisoned each year as they fight for basic legal rights in countries from China to Iran to Venezuela. However, no bar is more devastated than the one in Turkey where thousands of lawyers have been imprisoned and tortured for fighting the authoritarian regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Despite the praise from our president, Erdogan has continued a comprehensive campaign against the free press and political dissidents. This campaign however first required the elimination of thousands of lawyers to eradicate the rule of law to make way for his brutal religious-based authoritarian rule.

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Giuliani: I Am Afraid My Gravestone Will Read “He Lied For Trump”

I have been critical of interviews given by Trump’s counsel Rudy Giuliani and the continued need to walk back from comments that either undermine or contradict his client. This weekend was no exception, though some of the coverage was unfair as I previously discussed. Now he is facing questions after an interview with the New Yorker where he observed “I am afraid it will be on my gravestone… ‘Rudy Giuliani: He lied for Trump.’” Even as a joke, it was not the type of statement that advances the interests of your client. Trump himself is an unpredictable client but that is not an excuse to mirror your client as an unpredictable counsel.

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Giuliani: “I Never Said There Was No Collusion Between The Campaign, Or People In The Campaign”

Another interview, another controversy. Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani has found himself in another firestorm after telling CNN host Chris Cuomo: “I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or people in the campaign.” The problem is that his client has . . . repeatedly.

Update: In what has become a pattern, Giuliani spent the next today walking back his statements.

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Witch Hunt or Mole Hunt? The Times Bombshell Could Blow Up Both Sides

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the recent disclosure that the FBI opened an investigation into whether President Donald Trump was working for Russia after his firing of former FBI Director James Comey. In reading the story, it struck me that the emerging picture from early 2017 looks increasingly like a study in cognitive bias. Indeed, it raises a rather intriguing possibility that both sides may feed each other in reaching the wrong conclusions.

Here is the column:

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Notorious New York Lawyer Aaron Schlossberg Sued By Former Client

There is an interesting postscript story to the controversy surrounding New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg. As we discussed earlier, Schlossberg who went on a bizarre tirade against Spanish-speaking restaurant workers has quickly become the most hated man of the week in New York.  The New York Post reported that he has now been kicked out of his office by Corporate Suites, the company that held his lease.  Now, Schlossberg’s former client, Niche Music Group LLC, is suing him for embarrassing the company by its association to him. While I have little sympathy for Schlossberg (who is a GW grad), the lawsuit raises a troubling question over the liability of lawyers for statements or conduct made in their private lives. The premise of the action is that a lawyer can be sued if his views or actions cause embarrassment by association with clients.

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“You Love Those Dogs More Than You Love Me”: Chicago Attorney Arrested After Throwing Wife’s Dogs Off Balcony

Chicago attorney Jerald Jeske, 51, believed that his wife loved her two Chihuahuas more than she loved him. One could certainly understand why she would feel that way after he then proceeded to throw both dogs off their balcony. According to WGN-TV in Chicago reported, one was killed and one survived long enough to run off (and has not been found).

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The Barr Memo: Why Reasoned Discourse Should Not Be A Bar To Confirmation

Below is my column in Fox.com on the Barr memorandum that has garnered so much attention. As I noted, I do not agree with the ultimate conclusion of the research that the obstruction provision could not be the foundation for a subpoena to require President Donald Trump to answer questions. However, the memo is a well-reasoned and thoughtful treatment of the issue. Moreover, I agree with Barr (as I have stated since 2017) that critics were stretching obstruction provisions to the breaking point in their blind effort to turn every act into a crime. Indeed, while I do not necessary view the memo as a strong case against obstruction, it is part of a strong case for confirmation.

Here is the column:

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Trump Reportedly Lashed Out To Whitaker About Controlling The NY Prosecutors After Cohen Plea

Despite a series of self-inflicted wounds by President Donald Trump over the Russian investigation in pressuring former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and directly discussing the investigation with former FBI Director James Comey, Trump has reportedly returned to the same pattern in lashing out with Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. If true, it is entirely baffling. Republicans and Democrats have uniformly objected to these communications as improper and raising the appearance of influencing the investigation. It also undermines Whitaker’s position.

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The Curious Tale Of The Flynn Sentencing Hearing

Below is a column on the Flynn’s sentencing hearing and the curious turn of events in the case. He is now scheduled for a new sentencing hearing in March 2019. Interestingly, while I have repeatedly stated in print and television that Flynn does not deserve sympathy, I have been widely quoted as saying that I have called for such sympathy. My point is simply that there are serious concerns raised by how this interview was handled, including the intentional effort to have Flynn interviewed without counsel. Moreover, it is possible to denounce such false statements without exaggerating the specific crime itself. It is still unclear why Flynn lied when the conversation of such sanctions was not strange or improper. Indeed, the Administration publicly was saying that it wanted a new start with Russia and would reexamine all aspects of the relationship. The hearing however quickly went off the rails. I have a great deal of respect for Judge Emmet Sullivan and have appeared before him on countless occasions. But this hearing took a radical departure from the record and the specific crime being addressed in sentencing.

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Giuliani Admits That Trump Did Sign The Previously Stated “Unsigned” Moscow Letter But Calls It All “Bulls**t”

I have previously discussed the problematic advocacy of Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, including repeated corrections of his statements on national television.  The latest correction was to Giuliani’s insistence that, while Trump did continue to discuss a Moscow deal far later than previously claims, the thrust of the deal came down to an “unsigned letter.”  That latest representation lasted only a few hours when the signed letter was found.  Now, Giuliani is saying the letter was signed but it is just “bulls**t.”  Again, I fail to see how this meets the standard of effective and professional representation.

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“Let’s Just Send A Couple Of Guys Over”: Comey Admits Another Violation Of Department Protocol and Policy

Below is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the recent admission by James Comey that he intentionally circumvented the White House Counsel and Justice Department protocol to send two agents to interview then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.  It is a subject that will hopefully be raised this week when Comey appears again before Congress on Monday. Comey describes his sudden realization that he could “get away with” sending “a couple guys over” to the White House. Comey’s epiphany could be his epitaph. 

Here is the column:

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French Protesters Take To The Streets Wearing Yellow Vests . . . So Egypt Cracks Down On Yellow Vest Sales

The Egyptian government has reason to be nervous.  After cracking down on civil liberties, free speech, free exercise, and the free press, the government has watched with growing alarm over the protests engulfing France by thousands of yellow vested citizens.  So Egypt is rethinking its denial of basic liberties, right?  No, the government is preventing the sale of yellow vests and prosecutors are seeking jail time for a lawyer who was merely pictured in yellow vest.

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Giuliani Says Trump Answering Mueller’s Questions Was A Nightmare

An earlier column discussed the unnerving statement by Trump that he answered the questions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller “very easily.”  The column suggested that the claim may have been bravado since nothing is easy in this investigation.  That would seem to be the case since Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani just contradicted the President and said that Trump did not answer the questions either easily or quickly.  He described the process as taking two weeks and that the process was an utter “nightmare.”  He also spoke openly about the President not being as controlled as other clients — a statement occurring after Trump former Secretary of State called Trump “undisciplined.” 

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DOJ: Cohen Sold Access To Trump For $4 Million

One of the overlooked portions of the Justice Department filings on Michael Cohen was the calculation of how much Cohen made selling access to Trump after the election. I previously wrote about how Cohen found willing corporations like Novartis and AT&T to give him windfall payments to curry favoritism with Trump.  It turns out that Cohen made over $4 million and appears to have done little since he was quickly ensnared in scandal.  These companies however were outed in what is usually the hidden, seedy underbelly of this town. 

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