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chyna's avatar

In light of Trumps ex-lawyer Cohen’s secretly recording Trump’s conversation(s) do you feel lawyers should be punished by losing their law license forever?

Asked by chyna (42183points) July 20th, 2018 from iPhone

Should any and all lawyers found to have disclosed private meetings with clients lose their law license for life?

Edited to add above.

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42 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Please restate for clarity. Do you mean should lawyers who do that be punished? or just Cohen? or all lawyers?

seawulf575's avatar

Yes. In any situation where a client comes to you and engages your services as a lawyer, for you to indiscriminately disclose their private conversations should be grounds for disbarring…permanently.

zenvelo's avatar

It already is grounds for disbarment. What is unclear is if the conversation between Trump and Cohen was legitimately privileged.

rojo's avatar

Difficult question. Many times they are dealing with people of questionable character and by recording they are just playing CYA. In this particular case he did not disclose, it was found by authorities during an investigation.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Until today I had thought Cohen to be a total idiot that Trump only used because of his ability to kiss ass & say yes Master. Today I realize that he was a LOT smarter than I had given him credit. He was SMART enough to realize that when given the opportunity that Trump would throw him under the bus & run over him twice!!! Should he just lay there & wait for the bus to show up??? I think NOT!!!

Under the average client/lawyer relationship, I’d agree that it is wrong; however, this was NOT a normal client/lawyer relationship!!! Trump hired him to make ALL his illeal activities legal & he apparently did an excellent job doing so. That is until he could no longer be effective for Trump’s needs & then he was frozen out. Trump has shown MORE loyalty to Putin than he did to Cohen!!!

I do NOT see what Cohen did as indiscriminately disclosing private conversations. I see it as saving his own ass…much like Trump did when he ran over him the first time!!!

IF Cohen loses his license for life then Trump should lose his ability to be President for life!!!

IF @chyna hires a lawyer & said lawyer records their private meetings to maliciously hand over to the cops, I say bust his/her ass. In this case, Cohen did NOT simply hand over the private conversations willy nilly. He tried being true to his client until his client wasn’t true to him. Which of you would readily go to jail for doing your job while your client refuses to even testify on your behalf??? I feel that Cohen was more than LOYAL for MUCH longer than he should have been!!!

filmfann's avatar

I am not aware of any law that makes it illegal to record a conversation with a legal client

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Cohen was smarter than Trump thought he was.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@chyna – are you criticizing him for the taping? Or for playing the tapes to his friends?

Taping, itself, is a very smart idea, especially for a lawyer with a questionable client.

ScienceChick's avatar

Lawyers are not protected and do not need to protect their clients engaging in known illegal activities. If the lawyer engages in illegal activities with their clients, there is no such thing as client/lawyer privileged. No… what it is it called? Attorney/client privilege. It does not cover fraud or other illegal behaviour. So, releasing recording that expose a crime is the LEAST of a lawyers problems if there are crimes involved. They then have to somehow prove they weren’t involved or didn’t engage in subterfuge.

chyna's avatar

@elbanditoroso For playing the tapes.

ragingloli's avatar

I read that the tapes were confiscated during the Müller raid.

chyna's avatar

@ragingloli Yes, that is the assumption.
But actually my question was not really about what Cohen did, but if other lawyers were recording their clients privileged and private conversations and either playing it for other people or just telling the stories of their clients, should they lose their license for life.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I bet it is not at all unusual for lawyers to clandestinely record their clients. In Cohen’s case his license to practice is almost certainly toast, tape or no tape.

zenvelo's avatar

Cohen did not disclose this. The Special Master ruled the tape as privileged; Rudy Giuliani commented on the contents which waived Trump’s privilege.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

should they lose their license for life.

I am just familiar with Illinois law. It’s not banishment or nothing, there are degrees of punishment:

Reprimand
Censure
Suspension (temporary)
Disbarment (permaban)

If a complaint is filed, the attorney has three chances to argue against discipline:
1) Hearing board – If either side disputes, it escalates to a review board
2) Review board – If either side disputes, it escalates to the state Supreme Court
3) Illinois Supreme Court – Decision is final

ScienceChick's avatar

Cohen hasn’t been charged, but Manafort has and Manafort really stuck his foot in his mouth and ended up in jail, is that right? I was getting Manafort and Cohen mixed up. That’s hilarious that Guiliani opened his mouth and got that evidence put in play. That man looks crazy.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I was getting Manafort and Cohen mixed up

Cohen is a lawyer with Russian mob ties who worked for Trump and Hannity. He is a fixer who paid women to keep quiet about Trump’s affairs.

Manafort is a political operative with Russian government ties who Trump hired as campaign manager . Manafort had not worked in American politics for almost 30 years, but for some reason Trump thought he was the best choice.

ScienceChick's avatar

Oh…. shit. This is really stinking of Russian oligarchs laundering money in the NYC real estate market.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Yea @ScienceChick “duh ya think” and not just NYC. Trump golf courses have Russian money all over them.

ScienceChick's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Hey, we have our own human trafficking shit happening over boarders here and tax havens and shit, but I would say ‘duh, ya think’ to you for not understanding it all.

ScienceChick's avatar

I’m doing some reading about this money laundering in NYC in connection to the Trump properties (because I hate not knowing stuff) and I can see why Trump keeps bad mouthing the NYTimes and hates them. They’ve been writing about this stuff for years. I had heard about the hotel in Florida where Russians stay so they can have their babies in the US, so they are eligible for US citizenship and voting in the US, but that seems like nothing in comparison.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Yes, forever. It’s only in that state though…each state bar operates separately.

BellaB's avatar

In NYS as long as one person knows about the taping, it’s good to go. #45’s team waived privilege.

Cohen might not be someone I’d want to have lunch with, but he didn’t do anything wrong in this very specific case.

__

Always best not to do anything that you don’t want revealed. Tell the truth. Assume you’re being taped/filmed. It makes things easier.

@ScienceChick the blog part of https://trump-russia.com/blog/ has some interesting back story on #45/Russia/real estate. .

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@BellaB But that isn’t how we should live in a free society with constitutional rights to privacy. It’s time to stop trying to bring down the president and pay attention to what is happening to our rights. All of the little sheeple screaming about Trump are following the pied piper whose job is to distract. I wish my dear liberal friends would wake the hell up and stop being puppets.

ragingloli's avatar

” I wish my dear right wing extremist friends would wake the hell up and stop being a puppets.”

MollyMcGuire's avatar

You aren’t American, are you?

ragingloli's avatar

I would rather get raped by a pack of wolves.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Relax. You are safe and have a totally irrelevant opinion when it comes to American politics. That’s my opinion.

ragingloli's avatar

Your opinions are equally irrelevant, if not less so.

rojo's avatar

^^^ I am afraid @ragingloli is right there @MollyMcGuire. Not just you of course, all of us.

zenvelo's avatar

@MollyMcGuire There is NO constitutional right to privacy. It is not enumerated; any such expression is a liberal interpretation, as was pointed out on a recent thread discussion about Roe v. Wade.

And the “right to privacy” (i.e., attorney client privilege) was waived in regards to the Cohen Trump case.

The puppets whose strings are being manipulated are Republicans who are too scared to confront their Kremlin masters.

chyna's avatar

@zenvelo. When was right to privacy waived in the Trump Cohen case? Before trump knew he had been taped or after?

zenvelo's avatar

@chyna Trump’s legal team waived the right to exert client privilege. The Special Master overseeing the material to evaluate if it was privileged had declared it as a privileged communication. When Trump’s legal team started talking about it, they waived the right to keep it under judicial seal.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@zenvelo Yes, Americans have an implied constitutional right to privacy…..............you haven’t read Roe. The attorney client privilege has nothing to do with our Constitutional right to privacy.

You might grow your ears and shrink your mouth.

Irukandji's avatar

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” (Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution)

MollyMcGuire's avatar

The Supremes have been consistent since the 1920s about our right to privacy, which flows from the Fourteen Amendment’s guarantee of liberty. One cannot have liberty without privacy.

ScienceChick's avatar

Ummm…. from what I can gather, the 4th amendment has been eroded quite a bit with the search and seizure laws. Random stops. Pat downs on the street. Sheriff’s offices taking anything they find in a car during a routine stop. That seems to be quite the invasion of privacy by the State. Then there is the trading of personal information and debts between corporations without private citizens being aware. Did you know that is against the law in some countries, because of specifically enacted privacy laws to protect consumers.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

If recording a phone call was considered a violation of a constitutional right, there would not be fifty state laws spelling out when a call can be recorded. They would have been challenged and struck down.

ScienceChick's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay doesn’t it matter who is doing the recording and why? Cohen was doing it for record keeping, one would assume. But the FBI couldn’t record phone two people talking on the phone without a warrant. Unless it feel under that Homeland Securities Act, hmmmm…..

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The state laws I refer to are about calls recorded by someone on the call, not outsiders listening in.

Most state laws require One Party Consent, one person on the call has to know. About 15 states require Two Party Consent – everyone must be informed of the recording.

List of states here – Justia – Recording Phone Calls and Conversations

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay There is Federal Law regarding wire tap and recording of conversations. There are also state laws. State law may expand on the Federal but not the opposite. Federal law requires that one party of a conversation know of the recording. Some state laws require that all parties know of the recording. See 18 U.S.C. 2511(2)(d).

BellaB's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay has got it right. One Party Consent applied to this case, and #45’s legal team waived privilege.

It’s not a complicated matter.

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