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The Friday Whine BY BRIAN L. TANNEBAUM February 16, 2018

Posted on February 16, 2018 in

Greetings, The Friday Whine is a casual email to friends and colleagues and contains three things: An ethics update, a legal profession update, and wine recommendation. If you see text in blue, it is a link to an article or information.


Trump’s Lawyer

I was asked this week how many lawyers I know who have paid “hush” money out of their own pocket to a prostitute on behalf of their client.

I couldn’t think of a punch line.

Elie Mystal, Editor of Above the Law, asked the same question.

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, is not only his lawyer, he is apparently his best friend, and that’s a problem. While I don’t think his state Bar (New York) is going to do anything (because I’ve never really seen the New York Bar do anything), if someone wants to investigate this, I think there is something there.

Rule 1.8 of the ABA Model Rules states: (e) A lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation.


Of course, Cohen would argue there was no pending or contemplated litigation. That begs the question: why was the $130,000 paid? If Stormy Daniels has a text, email, note, voicemail, saying anything about any type of legal action, Michael Cohen may have a problem on his hands.


I predict that some random person is going to file a Bar complaint, maybe some congressman will ask some questions, but nothing will come of this, except the conclusion that Michael Cohen, for whatever reason, is very generous to his billionaire client.

Legal Profession

54 Miles From My House

The day after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, my thoughts turned to the release of the list of victims. I hadn’t received any messages that any of the victims were people I knew or related to people I knew, and at least felt some sense of relief that I had no personal connection to anyone who was killed or injured.

Then I saw it. Scott Biegel. I remember the young, tenacious Miami Assistant Public Defender Melissa Biegel. But hopefully, it wasn’t her relative.

His story is one of heroism. He was a teacher, opened his door to let kids in his classroom, and was killed.

February 14 was also her birthday.


A Break

Drink something good this weekend, let me know if it’s something I should try.