Lawyers for Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes want to quit

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/04/lawyers-for-theranos-founder-e.html

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IANAL (heh), but if someone isn’t paying you is there some requirement that you show up and work for them?

Oh, wait. I forgot the GOP-led government shutdown…

Edit: spelling.

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Going to go out on a limb here and say her continuing to plea not guilty has something to do with this.

Trial ain’t cheap.

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Given her track record regarding ethics, I can’t say I’m surprised she’s not paying her bills.

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I’m sure there’s no law that says they have to keep working, they could up and quit and become cabbage farmers in the woods. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if lawyers have a professional obligation to continue with their clients through a trial. I’m not going to claim to totally understand this, but if they are asking the judge for permission to drop Holmes then clearly there is an established process for lawyers who want to do this kind of thing.

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Yep. There are wrinkles, but the general rule is that once a lawyer takes on a representation of a client appearing before a tribunal, it’s unethical (and, I think, in most places, illegal) to terminate that representation without permission of the tribunal.

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There’s enough fuel from the last four years of this stupid timeline we’re in to make at least 10 more seasons of a Law & Order reboot, I think.

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Yeah, but how hard do they have to work for said client. Can’t the lawyer just tell the client “You’re not paying me, but I have to show up when the judge tells me to so I’ll sit at the table next to you. Ain’t gonna call any witnesses or do any research so feel free to find a new lawyer. Or given your financials, a public defender”.

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No, they cannot. If a lawyer purposefully fails to represent their client adequately, they could be sued for malpractice and be subject to disciplinary action against their license. In a high profile case like this, the bar might not even need to have someone sue.
Then there are the ethical obligations of an attorney.

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I think most lawyers know better than to try to play games with their bar associations or malpractice. If it was a single lawyer in private practice who was having trouble making rent on their office they might be more desperate. But assuming “Cooley” is the Cooley you get when you google “Cooley” they have 1.2B in revenue and are much better off just losing some money on the deal while they go through proper channels.

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Lady Macbeth used to enjoy the support of the most powerful and influencial folks in our country. Now, they walk away with clean hands…

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Well, if the lawyers ask the judge to allow them to quit, there must be a protocol under which lawyers can leave a sinking ship.

That being said, it’s somehow disappointing that this is over something as mundane as unpaid bills.
I had hoped that the lawyers wanted to bail because they thought they were hired by Thanos and were looking forward to working for someone really evil, for the lulz and the bragging rights.

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They may well have other, actual reasons (eg.She’s a crazy nutbag, and I can’t stand to be in the same room as her) but that wouldn’t fly with the judge. So “not getting paid,” it is.

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Agreed, except that in L&O criminals actually get justice doled out to them.

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if jack mc coy is wearing his red tie, she goin’ to prison.

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Highly unlikely - lawyers can put a price on that.

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Unpaid bills is just the easiest method.

Hypothetical: you insist you’re not guilty. Your attorneys are like yeah, no, not only are you guilty as shit but provably and demonstrably guilty. Going to trial would be a waste of time and also money that you don’t have. We need to change your plea and begin on settlement. You refuse, going so far as to withhold payment until your attorneys proceed with whatever cockamamie legal theory you come up with.

I’m not saying that’s whats happening here. I’m saying it happens and there’s likely some element of the above to it.

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It seems to be things that impact the ability to provide an adequate defense or requires ethical or legal breaches for the lawyers to continue.

So an uncooperative client who undermines their own interests or I’ve seen rare stories where its plausible reason to believe that the client is guilty or continuing criminal activity after a trial has begun.

I seem to remember non-payment coming up in this sort of thing. If the client doesn’t pay the lawfirm can’t, or can’t reasonably be expected to, cover 3rd party costs out of pocket. Which means neccisary work will go undone. Meaning it wasn’t an adequate defense, meaning mistrial or overturned trial and ethical consequences for the attorneys.

Seems almost like a conflict of interest thing. We can’t stay because doing so puts us in a legal or ethical catch 22.

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CHUNG CHUNG

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I’m re-watching from the beginning, and I see that poor DA Stone didn’t win them all, especially against that smarmy ambulance chaser from Texas.

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