Never Lie to Your Lawyer

I enjoy hockey, thouigh I am certainly not the most ardent fan. It’s offseason, but there have been major accusations around Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, namely that the sexually assaulted a woman at his Buffalo, NY home. He has not been arrested, and the case has been under review by law enforcement authorities. Apparently there was positive DNA on the victim’s shoulder area, but not in her genital area, which is not strong evidence of sexual assault. As no decision had been made, and facts are still spotty, I had only been tangentially following the case. Until this week when things took a turn for the weird.

Thomas Eoannou, the attorney who was representing the family of the accuser, called a press conference the other day, and presented what credibly appeared to be an evidence bag that had contained the rape kit collected at the hospital from the alleged victim. Prosecutors announced today that it was not the actual evidence bag from the kit. But the Eoannou was apparently misled, apparently by the mother of the accuser, into believing that the mother found the bag after an unknown person placed it on her doorway, suggesting that the negative DNA evidence was the result of tampering. Now, her attorney has quit, saying he can no longer handle the case because of misrepresentations that had been made to him. He made a point to state that it was not the young woman, and intimated that the mother had lied about the propriety of the evidence bag. It was embarrassing for the attorney, who was apparently sincere, and further reduces the likelihood that the State will purse charges.

Which brings us back to our subject: never lie to your lawyer. Your lawyer literally works for you: you have hired him/her to give you advice, but if you aren’t honest with your lawyer, the advice will be bad. I have seen other situations like this, where people misrepresent things to an attorney, and when it comes out in the wash, it ends up hurting the cause. This ridiculous situation certainly makes it much less likely that charges will be filed. I don’t know what happened, but I do know the prosecutor will not want to go forward on a case where the accuser’s family fabricated evidence. Unlike lying in court… or to a Federal Agent, or something… it is not a crime to lie to your lawyers, as prosecutor Frank Sedita dramatically pointed out. But when you give bad information to the person you are paying to represent your interests, bed things are likely to happen.

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