11th Oct 2010
Forget the political and media implications of the Gloria Allred press conference with her client, Ms. Diaz Santillan recently held.
What is truly fascinating, at least to me as a lawyer, is the apparent ethical violations of Gloria Allred to her client.
Attorney Allred put her client on national television, making her a nationally known figure, both in name and in image.
She apparently prepared a written statement and instructed her client to read this statement on national television.
In the written statement read to millions of people, the client admitted to: (1) being an illegal alien; (2) commiting identity theft (using someone else’s social security number); and possibly fraud (falsified work application).
Attorneys are to act in the best interests of their client. My question is very simple: How is it in the best interest of Ms. Diaz Santillan to have her admit publicly to having committed crimes?
Not only did she expose Ms. Diaz Santillan to possibly criminal investigation and prosecution, but she also made her unemployable! What employer will ever hire this poor woman? Again, how was this in the best interests of her client?
An attorney owes the client a duty of confidentiality, that is to keep secret any communications that the client confides to the attorney. An attorney is to act competently, and to avoid conflicts of interests between the client and themselves.
And an attorney must always act in their representation of a client in a manner that advances the best interests of the client.
Maybe I’m wrong, but serious ethical violations seem to have occurred in this case. How the client is and will be harmed will play out in the future.
And that’s my opinion…
Dwight Edward Tompkins
Attorney at Law
This blog is intended for information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction.