Pardon Me, say Famous People

June 1, 2018

Pardon Me, say Famous People

pardon

What a Pair!

The Pardons

President Donald J. Trump has exercised the pardon powers vested in him by Article Two, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution four times. And the recipients of his munificence? Joseph Arpaio, I. Lewis Libby, John A. Johnson aka Jack Johnson, and Kristian Mark Saucier. And the paperwork which evidences these full and unconditional pardons? Right here, from the U.S. Department of Justice website.

In addition to the four recipients, recent reporting informs us that Dinesh D’Souza has been pardoned, and that Rob Blagojevich and Martha Stewart might be. So, seven maybe.

The Editorial Board of the New York Times—oh, excuse me, the Failing Times, with

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Hurrah, Hurrah: Rubin & Bernstein PLLC

May 24, 2018

Hurrah, Hurrah: Rubin & Bernstein PLLC

We’re Here … Finally!

382 S. Convent Ave.

382 S. Convent Ave.

Well, gentle readers, you’ve certainly gotten teasers, here and here. (Candidly, I thought there were more.) Rubin & Bernstein PLLC is, like, the real deal! As of May 29th we’re located at 382 S. Convent Ave., with an annex office at 307 S. Convent. The picture shows 382, and we’ve got lots of parking. (Moving today, May 24!)

The Lawyers

Leigh Bernstein—my partner—devotes herself to the needs of elderly people and those who surround them in their later years. She provides estate planning services for people of all ages. Her practice also includes guardian/conservatorship cases involving people with dementia or mental illness. She handles trusts

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Real Attorneys, Working

May 5, 2018

Real Attorneys, Working

Rudy

Rudy Giuliani

From time to time I write about subjects, even though I lack a deep, personal knowledge base. G-d bless the Internet, which provides ready access to reliable sources. (Yes, I believe the MSM. Working journalists—people, mostly underpaid relative to societal value, who seek truth—get the story right, mostly.) With a functioning brain which can string together sentences and organize them into paragraphs, I write posts people read. And I sleep well, comfortable that I am not offering Fake News.

Then there are those moments when I write with first-hand knowledge. Like, about real attorneys, working.

So, what do we—working attorneys—do all day? Lots. My days include telephone conferences with clients and other, along

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Textualism and the Courts

April 26, 2018

Textualism and the Courts (A Wee Bit Wonky)*

textualism

Justice Antonin Scalia, Textualist

The Book

I finished The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption by Richard Hasen recently. Dealing with complex matters, Mr. Hasen offers lucid analysis and a fine read!

Straightaway, Mr. Hasen tells readers he has not written a Scalia biography, or a “comprehensive examination of all of [Justice] Scalia’s opinions and ideas.” Instead, he promises “an examination of [Justice Scalia’s] jurisprudential theories of textualism and originalism, his inimitable and caustic tone in dealing with his adversaries on and off the Court, and his key areas of modern American law.” And he delivers, in plain English!

I’m focused here on textualism, the legal

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Attorneys Addicted to Attention

April 25, 2018

Attorneys Addicted to Attention

attorneys

Mark Rubin

Attorneys—some, anyway—live in heady times. I follow some blogs and nearly every story touches matters legal. Unfortunately, in too many instances I find myself embarrassed and ashamed of too many fellow attorneys.

Before I go forth, let me clarify what I mean by attention. I’m not focused on attorneys doing good deeds. Writing principled, illuminating articles. Representing their clients well. The attention which bothers me involves television interviews. Press releases. And, yes, sometimes even statements made during book tours.

I’ve written lately—and often—about client confidentiality. Fundamentally, confidentiality and attention—as I have defined it—mesh poorly. We’re supposed to do our jobs quietly and, when we speak, we should be trying to illuminate, and we ought

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Confidentiality and Hannity the Client

April 17, 2018

Confidentiality and Hannity the Client

New York’s version of ER 1.6 of the Rules of Professional Conduct got shredded yesterday. Oh well … but for the fact that confidentiality represents a core aspect of the attorney-client relationship.

Some background might be helpful. Search warrants, executed last Monday, generated a bunch of material from Michael Cohen. He’s an attorney who works for President Donald J. Trump. And Everett Broidy. And one more client, Sean Hannity.

The government and Judge Kimba Wood needed to know who Mr. Cohen represented. Why? To determine the scope of the claimed attorney-client privilege. The privilege only applies to communications between Mr. Cohen and his clients; whither, the need to know the identity of

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Search Warrants, Confidentiality, and More

April 15, 2018

Search Warrants, Confidentiality, and More

That Client

That Client

In Donald J. Trump, Goner I promised some “basic facts about attorney-client privilege and attorney confidentiality issues.”* The promise grew out of the extraordinary search warrants directed to premises controlled by Michael Cohen, an attorney who does work for President Donald J. Trump.

Extraordinary search warrants? Yes. Mr. Cohen does have a license to practice law, and the warrants relate broadly to that client of his I mentioned previously.

Judges issue search warrants. Routinely.** Judges reject warrant requests rarely and, only slightly more often, they will modify them. So, the fact that warrants issued does not, alone, make them extraordinary.

So, why extraordinary? Mr. Cohen’s law license, and that client I mentioned.

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Confidentiality, Attorneys and Prospective Clients           

March 27, 2018

Confidentiality, Attorneys and Prospective Clients

confidentiality

Mark Rubin

On August 17, 2014 I posted Professional Responsibility; Confidentiality. Confidentiality represents a core part of the attorney-client relationship. Too often, unfortunately, we—yes, attorneys—ignore it or don’t understand it.

Plainly and simply: matters belong to clients, and not to their attorneys.* I work for you. The Rules of Professional Conduct and other sources set standards for me. And one of those standards—set forth in E(thical) R(ule) 1.6—tells me I can’t reveal “information relating to the representation of a client” without your consent. (There are several exceptions. They’re discussed in the 2014 piece, and not relevant here.)

“Information relating to the representation of the client” includes the very fact that an attorney-client relationship

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Lowell Rothschild RIP

December 29, 2017

Lowell Rothschild RIP

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Lowell Rothschild died on Friday, December 29, 2017. Survivors include his children, Jonathan (Karen Spiegel) and Jennifer (Julian Izbiky), grandchildren Isaac Rothschild (Tanya Miller), Nathan Rothschild (Jenny Stash), Molly Rose Rothschild, and Alex Izbiky, two great-grandsons, and scores and scores of friends and colleagues and admirers.

Many words will be written about Lowell. They will surely understate the depth and breadth of his impact on so many lives. He was – he’d never use this word about himself, but used it often to describe others – a magnificent attorney. Bankruptcy gave him his reputation, but he was a leader nationally in the field of law office management. In other areas he worked at a high level on

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U.S. District Court Appointments

December 15, 2017

U.S. District Court Appointments

U.S. District Court Appointments

Matthew Petersen

An SNL-not sketch has been circulating in the last couple of days. It’s here, and it’s a Q and A between Senator John Kennedy (R – La.) and U.S. District Court nominee / Federal Elections Commissioner Matthew S. Petersen. And if I’m understanding Poe’s Law correctly – it’s Friday evening, I’m alone, and I’m into liquid refreshment – we’re looking at reality mimicking parody. (This dude knows eff-all about being a trial judge!)

The Problem

At the trial level our systems, state and federal, offer the greatest number of jobs and the hardest challenges. Like a funnel in reverse, the greatest number of  judges handle trials. A much smaller number do

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