Cliven Bundy’s Chosen Attorney Has Ethical Conflicts; Precluded From Case

In the continuing saga of Cliven Bundy and his band of anti-government followers, Nevada’s chief federal judge Gloria Navarro has formally refused to allow nationally known conservative lawyer Larry Klayman join Cliven Bundy’s defense team. In a three page legal order, Navarro revealed that Mr. Klayman has some potential discipline issues with the D.C. Bar Association.  She has that his disclosure in court papers claimed that no disciplinary action has been taken and the proceedings were likely to be resolved in his favor. This was “misleading and incomplete.”

According to court documents, his troubles with the Washington bar stemmed from three separate alleged conflicts of interest in litigation involving Judicial Watch after he left the organization as its legal counsel.

Klayman, the founder of the Washington-based public interest groups Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is known for his litigious strategy in pursuit of conservative issues. Bundy is now currently represented by Las Vegas attorney Joel Hansen, who is active in the ultraconservative Independent American Party of Nevada. He filed papers pleading for the court to allow Klayman to be part of Bundy’s defense team. Klayman is allowed to reapply to represent Bundy pending he submits documents related to those proceedings.

Cliven Bundy is currently in federal custody and facing federal criminal charges stemming from the April 12, 2014, armed standoff with law enforcement at his ranch.

The Importance of Ethics in the Criminal Law Field

As criminal defense attorneys, we realize that sometimes we represent controversial clients in contentious cases. We believe, and the constitution believes, that everyone has the constitutional right to competent representation no matter who they are. That being said, it cannot be stressed enough that operating with the highest ethical and professional standards is extremely important in the criminal defense field.

The Ethical Rule on Conflicts

According to the American Bar Association, loyalty and independent judgments are essential to a lawyer’s relationship to his or her client.  Attorneys violate Rule 1.7 if they represent a client that is directly adverse to another client, or if their representation of a client will be “materially limited” by their responsibilities to another client. This can be waived by a client, but it is pretty common for attorneys to disqualify themselves. Additionally, a lawyer’s personal interest should not have an adverse effect on his or her ability to provide adequate representation.

San Diego Criminal Defense and Constitutional Rights Attorney

The Law Offices of David M. Boertje will defend your constitutional rights and freedoms with zeal and expertise. We handle all misdemeanor and felony cases and pride ourselves on operating with the highest standard of professionalism and ethics. We will guide you through your trial process, comb through the evidence against you, and ensure that you have a fair trial. If you have been charged and arrested for a crime, contact attorney David Boertje today.

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