Site Meter Lawyers Unregulated: Lawyers & Lawfirms Are A Cancer Eating Our Nation From Within: November 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Eliot Snoozer

Eliot has been renamed. And quite appropriately, because it seems that Eliot Spitzer is not the true valiant night battling for the protection of the people as he wants us to believe. Furthermore, Spitzer demonstrates that it ain't just the Feds sleeping at the switch when it comes to attorney misconduct.

Apparently, Mr. Spitzer ignores the conduct (unethical and probably illegaly) of fellow attorneys in New York State, notably when such actions relate to a scheme to suppress a line of inquiry into possible conflict of interest in which New York law firms earned hundreds of millions of dollars.

Eliot Spitzer looks the other way when one of his brother lawyers commits conduct which at a minimum is the rendering of advice to a client that it is OK to threaten to kill someone and which may in fact have been the delivery of an actual death threat on behalf of the de facto organization of firms which continues to receive hundreds of millions of dollars while their web of conflicts remains unnoticed, untouched, and unwoven.

You must read this: DougTranscript.pdf

Could it be any more obvious? Why did this attorney introduce the subject of a death threat? If the lawyer in question was instead merely an ordinary business person, he would be prosecuted. Italian Americans have been prosecuted for saying obtuse things like "I wish he would disappear".

Conflict of Interest - Eliot Snoozer Protects His Own

Mr. Spitzner simply won't investigate his brethren. The Snoozer is unable to stay awake while reading anything suggesting unethical or illegal conduct on the part of one of his fellow lawyers. It seems to be the quid pro quo among them whereby they
protect each other. So, while Spitzer has gone after quite a few corporations, it has only been those businesses which lacked an extremely important feature in the eyes of Eliot Snoozer:

Profit Alignment - The Commonality Of Purpose

It should not surprise you to notice that the corporations which Eliot Spitzer attacks are not law firms, as there is is no commonality of business profit model between the targets of Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Spitzer's own profit seeking past. Thus, the targets of Mr. Spitzer have no inside knowledge of the ethos of protectionism which Mr. Spitzer dutifully inhaled upon his entry into the legal profession. But actions speak louder than words. Spitzer will attack non lawyers with the ultimate zeal and "creativity". In contrast, when considering the investigation or prosecution of one of his brethren attorneys, Eliot Spitzer follows the teaching: "Let he who is without guilt cast the first stone".

Mr. Spitzer started his career as a lawyer in some powerful law firms. Is there any reason why we should think that Mr. Spitzer would be any different from the majority of lawyers, that he would not wear blinders when "viewing" the misconduct of his brethren? Lawyers all make their money playing the same game, and it seems one of the strongest forces in nature is that of one attorney protecting another, kinda like "Ape shall never kill Ape". What exists among attorneys is an Honor Among Thieves . Sadly, you can take such a lawyer and put him in the role of prosecutor, but certain loyalties will never die and he will only prosecute people outside of the family.

Oh what a Tangled Web We Weave

Tom Kirkendall's interesting blog item Spitzer: Populist Warrior or Reckless Business Foe? pointed me to this article and I quote:

"... Mr. Spitzer stunned Wall Street by using a little-known state law to win a court order requiring Merrill Lynch to disclose potential business conflicts involving its stock analysts."

Conflict Of Interest - Will incite the wrath of Spitzer

How creative, resourceful, and unstoppable is Eliot Spitzer when it comes to ferreting out and fighting conflict of interest when it comes to stock analysts. But is seems instead we have Eliot Snoozer in charge when it comes to conflict of interest on the part of brethren attorneys. How ironic that Mr. Spitzer is forced to employ an obscure law to support his novel concept that a brokerage firm's stock analysts are subject to conflict of interest doctrine.

Conflict Of Interest - By Brethren Attorneys Bores Spitzer To Sleep

Conversely, this issue of conflict of interest is a well known and well defined fundamental concept as it applies to attorneys. There are clearly codified rules and regulations regarding conflict of interest for attorneys including statutes and ethical rules. The duty to disclose a conflict of interest by an attorney is so strong and well settled that the failure to do so can result in 1) the disgorgement of fees and 2) criminal prosecution.

A criminal prosecution of an attorney is extremely rare. It seems it only happens when there is an obvious and eggregious incident like taking client money from an escrow account. But it is almost always the small practitioner and almost never a lawyer from a large firm, or the firm as a whole. And so it is with Eliot "the Snoozer" Spitzer: since pursuing the multiple ethical and likely criminal violations related to the attorney's desparate attempt to thwart an inquiry into possible conflict of interest violations as described and linked above would by definition affect his brethren, Mr. Spitzer "the Snoozer" is forced to ignore the conduct.

But just because district attorneys and an Attorney General seemingly embraces the notion that a brother attorney should never be prosecuted doesn't change the law. Citizens need only become aware and demand this to be fixed.