Ripples of dismay and disbelief have permeated the courthouse since the revelations about federal charges against Broward attorneys Anthony Livoti, Jr., and Michael McNerney surfaced in the Miami Herald a few months ago.
They came to fruition with an indictment earlier this month. Both are respected and forceful advocates with sterling reputations. The story has gone national, with a lengthy Daily Business Review feature being picked up today by Law.Com. You can read the full story at this link-
We can only hope the Feds got this one wrong and both attorneys prevail in their defense that they were lawfully carrying out their fiduciary duties as counsel for the indicted corporate executives. On the heels of the sketchy case against Ben Kuehne in Miami, there are lots of questions raised in this one. In fact, a New York court last week just ruled that is inappropriate to go after attorneys for advice they delivered while acting in a legal capacity. You can access that case here:http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202427548151
Prosecutions this close to the edge are an assault upon the adversarial system of justice. For a long time, since Ronald Reagan, the feds have thought that too many defense lawyers are 'on the side' of defendants and have sought to compromise their obligations. We are not 'on the side' of defendants; we are within the parameters of a justice system that has two sides, and each has a right to effective advocacy.