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IndiaFoodie

Does the attorney have an ethical problem in this scenario?

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I have a serious question which may seem convoluted. I don't want to run and consult an attorney about this because the case is sensitive. But I will do so if all of you advise me along those lines: 

 

I know that criminal defense attorneys will use any strategy they can to get their client off the hook at trial. Example: At Anthony Casey trial, did one truly believe that her dad molested her? I asked an attorney that question recently and got the response that it did not matter; that the jury did believe it and that was what was important.

 

I also know that in serious felony cases involving more than one charged suspect, that it is common to play one suspect off to the jury as the culprit while defending the other. And that this is a proven strategy that often works no matter what the truth of the matter is.

 

Can someone please tell me, what are the ethical boundaries for a criminal defense attorney to subpoena and examine a witness in a very serious felony case who he knows had nothing to do with the incident but who he can shape available circumstantial evidence to allege that they did the crime and not his client? Can he do so even over the specific objection of his own client???

 

If his own client, before trial, sends his attorney a letter in writing directing his attorney to use a different trial strategy putting the responsibility for his being a suspect on the over-zealousness of an investigator who controlled and fabricated evidence against him, and tells his attorney that he is aware of the other strategy his attorney intends to use and that he cannot approve of it and does not want it used because it will instead harm someone who the defendant knows is an innocent party; can the attorney still completely ignore the wishes of his client and proceed to still use that innocent party? Is the attorney in that situation subject to any particular ethical constraints?

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31 minutes ago, IndiaFoodie said:

Is the attorney in that situation subject to any particular ethical constraints?

 

No.

 

It's the attorney's job to defend his client with all the weapons at his disposal even if that means throwing somebody else under the bus.

 

If the defendant doesn't like the tactics he's welcome to fire his attorney and take over his own defense.

 

Any defendant who wants to limit his defense in the way you are postulating is an idiot who will find himself in jail if he doesn't let his attorney do his job.

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So, Casey Anthony could do NOTHING then to stop Baez from implicating her father? Except fire him?

 

Okay, what about in the situation where there was a past court recognized conflict-of-interest between the client and this particular attorney, and the attorney still ended up representing the client in this present case over the client's objections and assertions that this attorney would not be able to represent him impartially. Isn't the attorney's choice now of an easier "that guy did it" defense over the more difficult task of researching evidence to show a police official directed a "designer investigation" a possible indication of a lack of willingness to represent him properly?

 

Should the witness hire an attorney pretrial then for protection? Whether the State anticipated this defense or not it has had this witness admonished by court that if the witness chooses to testify anything the witness says can be used against the witness in future charging. The witness is now subpeonaed and will have no choice but to appear.

 

 

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The client gets to decide two things when it comes to trial--whether to plead and not go to trial and whether or not to testify.  Trial tactics are solely the attorney's decision to make.  You don't research evidence, you uncover it BUT if you're saying a cop manufactured the case, generally, the only witnesses to that, beside the defendant, would be other cops and they're not going to help you over their brother in blue.  Unless the witness is going to testify to something that incriminates him, he doesn't need an attorney and he can't decline to testify. 

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Hi @IndiaFoodie

 

Concurring with Legalwriter, generally attorneys must get their client's approval/consent on the big-picture issues, such as pleading guilty, accepting a plea deal, settlement, etc. Attorneys have more independence when it comes to trial strategy, so long as the attorney is acting competently. Criminal defense attorneys look for any weaknesses in the State's case to try to cast reasonable doubt, and look for any other plausible suspect who may have possibly committed the crime in question. If a criminal defendant strongly disagrees with his or her lawyer's strategy, and the lawyer does not wish to adjust that strategy, likely they would need to part ways.

 

The FindLaw.com Team

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