Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Disturbing story from state court

There has been a bunch of news about this Order out of Broward state court, disqualifying the state attorney's office for listening in on attorney-client conversations in a first degree murder prosecution.

The State took a breath-taking position -- because the call originated from jail, the inmate waived the attorney-client privilege. The judge quickly dismissed this position. The defense argued that the case should be dismissed for the egregious violation. The judge didn't go that far, but did disqualify the entire prosecution office from the case.

Two questions for you. Does this happen over here? And if it did ever happen, what would the likely result be. I put two polls for you below:

How frequently do AUSAs listen in on attorney client phone calls from FDC?
Never
Rarely
Often
pollcode.com free polls


If an AUSA did listen in on an attorney client conversation, the likely result in this District would be:
Case dismissed
Disqualification of the AUSA
Disqualification of the entire USA office
Evidence suppressed
Nothing
pollcode.com free polls

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can be damn sure they do listen to the calls, or at least the agents do. It is a huge problem which will never come to light because the agents would undoubtedly lie about it, even if it was inadvertent.

Anonymous said...

Read the order. Whoever the prosecutor is, they should be brought up on charges before the Bar.

Rumpole said...

They can listen on my calls all they want.

Defendant: "What are we gonna do?"

Me. How the fu*k should I know?

D: Is the prosecutor any good.

Me.: They suck.

D. What about the Judge?

Me. A political hack. Couldn't make a living as a lawyer.

D. So what's the defense?

Me. I dunno. You did it. You tell me.


I mean really, what are they going to find out that they do not already know?

Rumpole said...

PS. For all you prospective clients out there who now, having seen my attorney-client relations in action, can't wait to hire me, much like Bernie Madoff, I am somewhat selective on who I will work for. So you'll have to settle for Mr. Markus.

Steven H. Levin said...

As a former AUSA, I had many opportunities to listen to attorney-client conversations caught on tape. It never occurred to me to actually do so--even when the client (defendant) was in jail and talking on a cell phone in violation of prison rules. It's outrageous to learn that there may be prosecutors out there who think it's okay to violate such a privilege, absent some extraordinary circumstance (for instance, probable cause to believe that the attorney is involved in some illegal conduct.) I would hope that such conduct would be reported to the state bar and the Office of Professional Responsibility.