George & Cindy: Conflict of interest with one lawyer?

Discussion in 'Caylee Anthony 2 years old' started by mollie, Feb 21, 2009.

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  1. mollie

    mollie New Member

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    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:

    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 :waitasec:

    This case seems to scream for such caution.

    MOO
     
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  3. suspicious1

    suspicious1 New Member

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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.
     
  4. bailee

    bailee New Member

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

    Searchfortruth New Member

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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.
     
  6. debs

    debs Former Member

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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.
     
  7. RR0004

    RR0004 New Member

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    ...and "free" works for both of them right now.
     
  8. bailee

    bailee New Member

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    slightly OT , but how is BC also acting as DC's lawyer now that is conflict in my book
     
  9. RR0004

    RR0004 New Member

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    ...and DC has Casey as a client...what a tangled web!
     
  10. mollie

    mollie New Member

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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.
     
  11. SoCalSleuth

    SoCalSleuth Verified Expert

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    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?
     
  12. chicagofa13

    chicagofa13 New Member

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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.
     
  13. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    I thought that was wierd too.
     
  14. anastacia129

    anastacia129 Inactive

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    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.
     
  15. TrY

    TrY New Member

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    I've wondered why GA and CA didn't have their own separate lawyers too.
     
  16. amethyst221

    amethyst221 Former Member

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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.
     
  17. SoCalSleuth

    SoCalSleuth Verified Expert

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    Tried just to quote your last sentence but apparently I'm an idiot, again. You can't avoid a conflict by lying for the sole reason that the conflict doesn't necessarily arise from what the client(s) tell the lawyer. A lawyer has to consider what a judge/jury would do. A judge/jury could believe one client over the other, for instance, happens all the time. A judge/jury could believer neither of them as well. If there is even the remote possibility of a charge it is an actual conflict and not a potential conflict and can never be waived even with full disclosure and informed consent.
     
  18. amethyst221

    amethyst221 Former Member

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    SoCal, I was only trying to make a technical point that it isn't always automatic that a lawyer has to say no to multiple clients whose interests could diverge. But I agree totally that in this case, with the possibility out there that there could be charges against the 3 people mentioned (possible criminal charges in the nature of obstruction and lying to LE sorts of things, even), they shouldn't all have the same attorney. And the attorney should be able to foresee and assess all of this. My final comment was more sarcastic than serious. In this case, too often it seems the way to keep a problem at bay is to fib. The ease with which people do that, to LE especially, still astonishes me.

    What you said, applied here. Maybe the idea was to present a united front by people who are associated, against the horrible tape-stealing/selling Hoover. Instead, it just seems once more that the primary clients are tied to someone totally shifty and it casts doubt all the way around. This is the very reason you get a lawyer, to think through these things and avoid them.
     
  19. amethyst221

    amethyst221 Former Member

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    First, back to the original point/post, ITA. Second, I don't know how the idea got abroad that having the same lawyer establishes there is no conflict -- it clearly doesn't.
     
  20. SoCalSleuth

    SoCalSleuth Verified Expert

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    Preaching to the choir....this whole case reminds me of a law school exam! I noticed that the only attorney who charged for his work was MN--and he should have charged. Why would any attorney who has overhead expenses to pay work for free if not for publicity and other motives? It's crazy.
     
  21. amethyst221

    amethyst221 Former Member

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    Yup, MN seems to function as a real lawyer whether paid or pro bono. In his representation of Tim M. and TES, he wrote a real, literate brief, relied on legal authorities, filed it in a timely fashion, etc. NORMAL stuff.

    I guess it's a "good" thing that so many people want to represent players in this case for free, or for publicity and notoriety, or whatever. My complaint is always that even if your lawyering is free, it still should be good and competent. You shouldn't get so busy courting the media and making statements that you never do the real work, like legal research, witness prep, etc. I dislike all this shooting from the hip and then backtracking, which only serves to make the clients look bad whether they deserve it in the particular instance or not. Oh, well. Glad it's not me.
     
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