Will Your Lawyer Talk to God for You?

Washington Post, White House review turns up emails showing extensive effort to justify Trump’s decision to block Ukraine military aid

N.Y. Times, Mulvaney Asked About Legal Justification for Withholding Ukraine Aid: In emails uncovered during an internal review, the acting White House chief of staff also asked budget officials how long the aid could be withheld.

These developments make me reflect on what is normal litigation practice—and what is most definitely, most assuredly not standard operating procedure

Dog Bites Man

Organization in legal trouble. Chief counsel calls for review of thousands of relevant documents (1) to find out what the hell happened, (2) to see what legal spin he could place on the facts, (3) to anticipate what the organization’s adversaries might make of the relevant evidence.

Happens every day. It’s called protecting your client.

After the boss does something stupid, underlings try to find a legal figleaf to defend the stupid thing that just occurred.

Happens every day. It’s called anticipating litigation.

Man Bites Dog

Along with all this client protectin’ and litigatin’ anticipatin’, the organization is engaged in a massive effort to cover up the facts—and blatantly disregards duly issued subpoenas.

Man Take Another Large Bite, Dog Howls in Pain

While counsel for the organization is doing all this client protectin’ and litigatin’ anticipatin’ and coverin’ up, someone or someones leak like a sieve to the Washington Post.

And who, pray tell, might the leakers be?

Presumably one or more junior lawyers, paralegals, or legal secretaries employed by the organization in legal difficulty.

Not exactly standard operatin’ procedure in well run organizations.

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