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Response to msanthrope (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 18, 2013, 05:51 PM

17. Funny that the judge ruled that his actions were not unethical but you claim that he was...

Oh, who to believe...

The only specific example I've ever seen raised in support of this innuendo was a 2001 ruling on the propriety of my tape recording of a witness which arose in a First Amendment free speech case I litigated in defense of a white supremacist church. When I was in my office in New York (where tape recording witnesses was permitted), I interviewed a witness by telephone who was in Illinois (where tape recording witnesses was not permitted). There was a split in legal authority on which rule applied: the rule of the jurisdiction where the recorder was physically located, or where the witness was physically located. The American Bar Association had expressly ruled that surreptitious tape recordings of witnesses by lawyers was permitted.

I took the position that New York rules should apply and the other side took the position that the Illinois rules should apply. The district court judge - 12 years ago - ultimately ruled that Illinois rules applied, but made expressly clear in his written opinion that this was a mere standard legal dispute with reasonable views on both sides, not a question of whether anything unethical had been done:

Given the rhetoric in the papers filed with respect to this difficult ethical question, we wish to clarify one last matter. We are applying rules here, not judging character. As the magistrate judge noted, although ultimately unsuccessful, defendants' arguments were reasonable. Defense counsel could have reasonably believed that his conduct was permissible. Although we find that his conduct did violate the rules, our rejection of his position does not equate to an indictment as an unethical person.


There was zero sanction, penalty, or any other form of disciplinary action proposed or taken as the result of that. As the district court judge said, it was a "difficult" question on which there was conflicting precedent and the arguments for the legality of the tape recording were "reasonable". Anyone claiming that this was a finding of unethical behavior or that I was sanctioned in any way is either lying or ignorant. I continued to practice law for six years after that.

http://ggsidedocs.blogspot.com/2013/01/frequently-told-lies-ftls.html

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