Greetings, The Friday Whine is a casual email to friends and colleagues and contains two things: An ethics update, and a wine recommendation. If you see text in blue, it is a link to an article or information.
Trump and the Attorney/Client Privilege
For the last couple weeks I’ve been mentioning the ethics surrounding President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen. I hope you’re not getting sick of this Trump stuff because there’s a lot of it, and more to come.
Like this week’s gem that a “former legal advisor” for President Trump “warned him” that Michael Cohen could “flip” on him, meaning of course, that he would tell a prosecutor anything they wanted to know about the relationship with the President. (I disagree by the way).
“Jay Goldberg, a lawyer who represented Mr. Trump through much of the 1990’s and early 2000’s in real estate and divorce proceedings, confirmed the president had called him last Friday, and he told the president that he should have concerns about Cohen.”
But wait, there’s more:
“Michael will never stand up [for you]” if charged by the government,” Goldberg told the Journal when recalling his conversation.
The lawyer had advised the president that the sheer volume of correspondence seized and the possible pressure applied by the federal government was enough to crack Cohen, potentially putting the president at further legal risk.
Does the attorney/client privilege apply to statements of a lawyer to a client?
Here’s the long answer:
Goldberg violated the attorney/client privilege. I doubt he contacted the President and asked if he could disclose this conversation, or that the President consented. But we move on to next week’s likely ethical dilemma in the administration.
The attorney/client privilege applies to confidential communications between an attorney and a client and includes “responsive communications” from the lawyer to the client.
Makes sense. It is to protect the link of the responsive communication to the advice sought from the client.
If a lawyer says: I told my client that murdering his wife would be a mistake,” then someone (a prosecutor, opposing counsel, the client’s mother-in-law) could surmise that the client asked “what if I murder my wife?”
And if a lawyer says publicly that he “warned” the President that his personal lawyer “could flip on him,” it could be surmised that the President was asking about the consequences of Michael Cohen being indicted, or what his exposure could be, or a dozen other things.
Last weekend we hosted “A Toast to Innocence” to benefit the Innocence Project of Florida. over 60 wines were poured and we raised $30,000.00 to help free the wrongfully incarcerated in Florida.
Of all the wines poured, the Domaine Cazes Maury Sec 2015 was one of the biggest sellers of the night.
“One of the blockbusters in the vintage is unquestionably the 2015 Maury Sec Serge & Nicolas. Made from the usual blend of 60% Grenache, 28% Syrah and 12% Carignan that was brought up primarily in tank, it has awesome notes of blackberries, licorice, crushed rocks and violets. With off the charts purity, full-bodied richness and finely polished tannin, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face over the coming 5-7 years
To have a $26 wine rated 94 points is rare. You can grab some at Wolfe’s, who donated 100% of all wine sold to the Innocence Project of Florida.