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  1. #1
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    George & Cindy: Conflict of interest with one lawyer?

    This has been on my mind since MN resigned, and brought forward more so as the case has moved forward, i.e. Caylee's remains being found, GA's suicide attempt/depression, the DC whole conundrum with the jump from JB to working for "the family" = the November search and so forth.

    I keep reading on different threads version of this quote:

    There is also no conflict of interest between George and Cindy and DC. They all share the same attorney. So, none of these three are worried about being ratted out by the other.
    I believe the fact that they are the parents of the accused, the grandparents of the murdered child does not always equate with the needs of their best interests being served by one lawyer. No matter how much they loved both, were or were not involved at any point prior or after the murder of Caylee, each should have their own lawyer.

    I actually think this is something that MN realized early on, esp. with GA having to give grand jury testimony. I wonder what this case would be like if GA had his own lawyer, looking after his interest only. I just feel that CA continues to somewhat try to live in her own world, like KC, and overpowers those around her.

    CA has come close herself to facing the reality of this case, but always seems to step back, i.e. smell of the car...withholding the missing blanket information, and so on. She needs a lawyer concentrating on her needs only.

    DC, well, he's a whole other story, but my main thoughts are GA and CA. In most criminal cases, no matter who are involved, it is always in the best case of each person to have their own individual attorney.

    LA understood this, although I'm not sure he got the best representation possible

    This case seems to scream for such caution.

    MOO
    As my mother always told me, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Unfortunately, some parents never learned this lesson, and the reverberations go on and on...sometimes with the most final payment on earth.

  2. #2
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    You are absolutely right, they both need a lawyer. I would definitely want a separate lawyer from my husband. It seems that they both had some type of involvement either directly or indirectly. If I was GA I would not want to go down with CA, CA needs her own representation.

  3. #3
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    well not sure about FL. but most places a husband cannot testify against a wife and wife against hubby.

  4. #4
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    I agree that they should have separate lawyers, and with DC also sharing BC, I see problems ahead. I wouldn't be surprised to see DC come up with another lawyer soon. As for C & G, I doubt that CA would allow GA to bring in his own atty, just my opinion.

  5. #5
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    George and Cindy do not need a separate lawyer until such a time as charges are pending and they know the extent of those charges. At that time, they can determine whether they will stand separately or together on those charges. Spousal rules apply and one cannot be compelled to testify against the other. That does not mean, however, that one spouse could NOT testify against the other if they so wish. If the one chooses to testify against the other, it would be necessary to obtain a separate lawyer. I don't know who would get the lawyer they shared. It would be my guess that he would have to resign before taking one on as a client, since privilege applies to the other person. So I guess if they ever get separate lawyers, they'll be getting two.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by debs View Post
    George and Cindy do not need a separate lawyer until such a time as charges are pending and they know the extent of those charges. At that time, they can determine whether they will stand separately or together on those charges. Spousal rules apply and one cannot be compelled to testify against the other. That does not mean, however, that one spouse could NOT testify against the other if they so wish. If the one chooses to testify against the other, it would be necessary to obtain a separate lawyer. I don't know who would get the lawyer they shared. It would be my guess that he would have to resign before taking one on as a client, since privilege applies to the other person. So I guess if they ever get separate lawyers, they'll be getting two.
    ...and "free" works for both of them right now.

  7. #7
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    slightly OT , but how is BC also acting as DC's lawyer now that is conflict in my book

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailee View Post
    slightly OT , but how is BC also acting as DC's lawyer now that is conflict in my book
    ...and DC has Casey as a client...what a tangled web!

  9. #9
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    I agree about spousal communications, but my concerns lay with their approaches, actions, knowledge with KC...this is where they need separate lawyers. I believe it's important that CA not be pressuring GA regarding his knowledge of what he knows regarding KC, and as long as they have one lawyer, I believe CA's viewpoint will always take top priority.

    I wasn't concerned so much re: GA/CA testifying against each other.
    As my mother always told me, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Unfortunately, some parents never learned this lesson, and the reverberations go on and on...sometimes with the most final payment on earth.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by debs View Post
    George and Cindy do not need a separate lawyer until such a time as charges are pending and they know the extent of those charges. At that time, they can determine whether they will stand separately or together on those charges. Spousal rules apply and one cannot be compelled to testify against the other. That does not mean, however, that one spouse could NOT testify against the other if they so wish. If the one chooses to testify against the other, it would be necessary to obtain a separate lawyer. I don't know who would get the lawyer they shared. It would be my guess that he would have to resign before taking one on as a client, since privilege applies to the other person. So I guess if they ever get separate lawyers, they'll be getting two.
    Either spouse can claim the privilege and refuse to testify or prevent the other spouse from testifying so one spouse cannot choose to testify if they want over the objection of the other. That being said, the privilege only pertains to those communications between the spouses with no one else present--if anyone else was there there's no privilege; if one spouse overheard or saw the other spouse doing something, there is no privilege.

    I think it is telling in this case that the Anthonys have an attorney at all--what other case can you think of in recent history where the parents of an accused needed a lawyer other than for media appearances? Since there has been talk of obstruction charges there are a variety of reasons why the Anthonys should each have their own lawyer. BC should also not represent DC. A potential conflict exists between BC's representation of the Anthonys and DC--which must have been waived. However you can never waive an actual conflict. A lawyer can only serve one master. Here's a hypothetical: KC told CA where to find Caylee's remains. CA told DC to go there and not call 911 if Caylee's remains were found. DC found Caylee's remains and did not call 911. Obstruction charges and conspiracy to commit obstruction charges are brought against CA and DC. BC could not represent both of them. Their interests are adverse to one another. However, he couldn't represent either one of them individually either because he obtained confidential information from each of them.

    The only lawyer who has acted in a normal responsible professional manner in this case has been MN. And he got out. Tells you something, doesn't it?
    Last edited by SoCalSleuth; 02-22-2009 at 12:21 AM. Reason: spelling


  11. #11
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    I said a lonnnnggggg time ago if they feel they need a lawyer, they need TWO not one. Separate lawyers. DC, that's another issue! I don't think BC should be representing more than one party here.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalSleuth View Post
    BC should also not represent DC. A potential conflict exists between BC's representation of the Anthonys and DC--which must have been waived. However you can never waive an actual conflict. A lawyer can only serve one master.
    Here's a hypothetical: KC told CA where to find Caylee's remains. CA told DC to go there and not call 911 if Caylee's remains were found. DC found Caylee's remains and did not call 911. Obstruction charges and conspiracy to commit obstruction charges are brought against CA and DC. BC could not represent both of them. Their interests are adverse to one another. However, he couldn't represent either one of them individually either because he obtained confidential information from each of them.

    The only lawyer who has acted in a normal responsible professional manner in this case has been MN. And he got out. Tells you something, doesn't it?
    I thought that was wierd too.
    This is the year to locate Mark Dribin http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ht=Mark+Dribin NamUs MP#876 and Ilene Misheloff http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...lene+Misheloff NamUs MP#6410 and bring them home to their families!

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  13. #13
    Lawyers typically do not represent family members or even friends when they are co-defendants. I realize they have not been charged, but since this would not be a civil case for them and would not involve their assets, they should definately have seperate lawyers.

  14. #14
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    I've wondered why GA and CA didn't have their own separate lawyers too.

  15. #15
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    There is clearly a possibility that a conflict could arise between the interests of CA, GA and DC, the private investigator. A lawyer would clearly know that, and many would choose not to represent them all, if for no other reason than the appearance of impropriety in a case that doesn't need any more. BUT a lawyer can also fully explain the potential conflicts of interest that could arise and the clients could waive them, in writing, after full disclosure. Then, from the most basic professional responsibility point of view, it could be okay. There are certain conflicts that could never be waived. A lawyer couldn't represent both sides in an adversarial proceeding, for example.

    In this case? Is each client telling LE the full and complete truth the first time around, with counsel's knowledge and advice, and letting the chips fall where they may? Or does each shade or color what they say to fit with the story of the others? Is testimony being managed to tell the story that one or the other client wants out there? The optimum solution to a conflict is not to "avoid" it by lying.

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