March 29, 2017

Playing By The Rules

Well, if this one don’t take the cake.   First, a big defense firm has the chutzpah to send a young associate into the federal jury assembly room, and then, has the unmitigated gall to refuse to produce his/her notes, claiming them as “work product.”   See the story, and Judge Hoyt’s ruling this week, at

http://abovethelaw.com/2014/02/thats-one-way-to-pick-a-jury-maybe-an-unethical-one-but-it-is-one-way/

This one ain’t even close folks.    Respect for the Court and for the jurors, and the sacrifice that they make to serve our system, demands that we give them their privacy and their space.   And while I wholeheartedly agree that every lawyer has both a legal and ethical duty to zealously act in the best interest of their client, there is a line in the sand that honor, responsibility, and plain-old-decency require us not to cross in our advocacy.

I have been a member of the Bar of the Southern District of Texas for over 40 years, and am proud to say that, all things considered, I think we have the best trial bar in the country.    This deplorable conduct is beneath the level of professionalism that has been the hallmark for our trial bar – on both sides of the docket – for the vast majority of that time.   Hopefully, Judge Hoyt will employ some stern measures that will get the message out to the younger members of our bar that there are certain types of conduct that simply will not be tolerated by our courts.  As lawyers we can, and should, do better.  Justice demands no less.

– Andy Vickery

 

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