Monday, February 24, 2014

"Even though they threw me under the bus … There's a certain sense of unease about acquiring a house in this fashion."

That's Patrick Coulton after moving into his former lawyer's house.  Paula McMahon has the interesting story:

Patrick Coulton's lawyers ripped him off to the tune of $275,000 and left him to rot in prison.
But Coulton is getting payback: He now lives in his former lawyer's home — a three-bedroom house in Miramar that he will eventually own as part of a court-ordered punishment of the two misbehaving attorneys.
"Even though they threw me under the bus … There's a certain sense of unease about acquiring a house in this fashion," Coulton said after moving in last week. "I almost feel sorry for them."
Client gets bad attorney's home

The way Coulton and two federal judges tell it, this is the story of two very bad lawyers — Emmanuel Roy and Peter Mayas — and one very good one, Paul Petruzzi.
"Guys like them are the reason people hate lawyers," Petruzzi said. "They took everything from him and his family … I took it personally because this is what I do for a living. Lawyers are supposed to help people."

In other news, the DOJ is treating its discovery handbook the same way it treats discovery.  Its not turning it over without a fight:

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers today sued the U.S. Department of Justice over public access to a criminal discovery "blue book" that was written after the collapse of the case against Ted Stevens.
The Justice Department last year turned down a request from the NACDL for a copy of the Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book. The lawsuit was filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Justice Department officials, according to the complaint, cited the book as an example of why federal legislation was unnecessary to prevent future discovery abuses among prosecutors.
During a hearing on Capitol Hill, in 2012, the Justice Department said the blue book was "distributed to prosecutors nationwide in 2011" and "is now electronically available on the desktop of every federal prosecutor and paralegal," according to the NACDL complaint.
"The due process rights of the American people, and how powerful federal prosecutors have been instructed as relates to the safeguarding of those rights, is a matter of utmost Constitutional concern to the public," NACDL President Jerry Cox said in a written statement. "The 'trust us' approach is simply unacceptable. And it is certainly an insufficient basis upon which to resist bipartisan congressional interest in codifying prosecutors’ duty to disclose."

NACDL is represented by the excellent Kerri Ruttenberg.


Rumpole said...

Take a BOW Paul. You done good.
Well done.
Well done Indeed.

Our profession is littered with the likes of those two scummy lawyers. It's nice to see one client get a little justice.

Anonymous said...

What is funny is that you can find the Grand Jury Manual online (which involves what are supposed to be "secret" proceedings) but they won't disclose this?

Anonymous said...

And the Federal Public Defenders should also make public all of their internal guidance manuals since they are publicly funded? Sounds about right.

Anonymous said...

Thank God that Paul is such a legal lion and a true believer!

Anonymous said...

Not sure how DOJ can establish that the Blue Book should be protected from disclosure because of the work product doctrine.