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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Austin (Metro area), TX

    Post Attorney-client Privilege?

    I just read an article (see below) about an attorney who is being ordered to give up privileged client information. With Patsy's recurrence of ovarian cancer, I am curious if her attorney will be able to maintain attorney-client privilege if something should happen to Patsy and the new investigative team finds the evidence leads them right back to the Ramsey camp. Then too, what happens to attorney-client privilege under Wood since he represents both John and Patsy?

    Attorney Given Two Weeks to Tell Judge What Client Knew About Arsenic Death

    An attorney has two weeks to turn over what his client told him about the poisoning death of a Raleigh AIDS researcher.

    Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens says he wants Richard Gammon's sealed testimony about comments Derril Willard made in the Eric Miller case by September 26th.

    Last month, the state Supreme Court upheld Stephens' order, although Gammon says providing the information would harm his attorney-client privilege with Willard. Stephens would read Gammon's affidavit and determine what could assist prosecutors trying to solve Miller's homicide.

    Willard killed himself after police began investigating Miller's death in December 2000.
    Never let the children, Elders, the sick, or the infirm be exploited.

    "I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines." Oliver Goldsmith

    Let's bring all our missing and military home safely!

    All of my thoughts written here are my constitutionally protected opinion.

    I reject any form of government in which the opinion of the village idiot is given the same weight as the opinion of Aristotle. (author unknown)

  2. #2


    I doubt very seriously the R's have come clean with their lawyers. I would guess they have never told the truth about the case to anyone, least of all the people they have hired to defend them. People tell their stories in ways to best reflect on them. The truth rarely enters into the picture.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Hornetsville, NY

    Default A dead person has no rights

    What attorney-client privilege exists between an attorney and a dead client? The guy killed himself. He cannot be harmed by breaching attorney/client privilege. I agree with this decision.

    I also agree with South. The Ramseys have not come clean to their attorneys.
    Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry,
    the philosophy which does not laugh,
    and the greatness which does not bow before children.

    ---Kahlil Gibran---

  4. #4

    Default In Days Yon

    The attorney-client privilege has always been a sacrosanct bond between the parties to protect the rights of clients, even when those clients have confessed to crimes, or the attorney has had knowledge that a client was culpable. It always operated like a clergy-parishioner relationship. That privilege always extended beyond the grave, not for the sake of the client, but in compliance with ethics rules for attorneys.

    However, in a very recent American Bar Association decision, that privilege can now be pierced, and an attorney is no longer bound by it, in cases where the attorney has knowledge of crimes by corporate clients. The decision still gives attorneys freedom of choice in divulging such info and the decision was made for the protection of lawyers whose corporate clients, like Enron, would place their own counsel at risk in failing to disclose. I would imagine that we will ultimately see these kinds of law changes for accountants, stock brokers, medical and mental health professionals, etc.

    In the Ramsey case, any judge could order any attorney representing the Rs to give it up IF that judge had a reasonable suspicion the attorney possessed knowledge of crime(s).

    ABA Loosens Attorney-Client Secrecy Rules

    Monday, August 11, 2003; 10:27 PM

    By Gail Appleson, Law Correspondent

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The American Bar Association on Monday narrowly passed a controversial proposal that will allow lawyers to pierce sacred attorney-client secrecy rules to help stop financial crimes.

    In a 218 to 201 vote, the ABA's policy-making body amended its ethics code to allow, but not require, lawyers to breach attorney-client privilege if they believe doing so would stop a client from committing a financial crime or fraud.

    Dennis Archer, the ABA's incoming president, urged passage of the amendment.

    "This is in the best interest of our profession. It is in the best interest of our country," said Archer, a former mayor of Detroit.

    Many lawyers objected to the change, fearing it would severely harm the time-honored duty of lawyers to keep a client's information secret. They also worry that the change could expose lawyers to liability lawsuits.

    Among them was president-elect Robert Gray of Richmond, Virginia, who will succeed Archer in August 2004.

    "This is not the proper time to bow to threats by those who seek to regulate us," Gray said. "This not a time to take a position that the core values of this profession are subject to compromise."

    The group is scheduled to vote on another controversial ethics amendment on Tuesday that applies to lawyers who represent corporate clients. The proposal clarifies "triggers" that would require lawyers to report a corporate officer's conduct to the company's upper management. It also addresses circumstances in which lawyers can reveal information to
    authorities about their corporate clients.

    Similar proposals have been defeated by the House of Delegates in previous years. However, Archer and many other lawyers feel the landscape has changed in the wake of high-profile scandals that have engulfed Enron and other companies.

    "The environment we are in is very sobering," said William Ide, a former ABA president from Atlanta. "As officers of the court it is our responsibility to take a hard look at the damages that have been done to people. We need to decide there is more lawyers can do."

    Indeed, the ABA's vote will be closely watched by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been charged by Congress with setting standards of professional conduct for in-house and outside attorneys who advise public companies.

    Some SEC rules for lawyers went into effect last week, and the agency could adopt more stringent requirements if it is dissatisfied with the ABA's actions.

    However, several lawyers spoke out against the proposal, including William Paul, a former ABA president from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who said the rule change undermines a system that has worked for some 200 years.

    "We need that rule to enable us to do our work," he said, adding that the amendment "asks us to barter away a piece of our professional soul to get some hope for public approval."

    Sharon Stern Gerstman of Buffalo, New York, said the recent corporate scandals were not caused by lawyers' inability to reveal confidences and there is "not one shred of evidence" that the rule change would have made a difference.

    Instead, she said the ABA is being pressured by "government agencies that want us to make their jobs of learning our clients' secrets easier for them."

    2003 Reuters

  5. #5

    Default Disagree

    I disagree that the Ramsey's haven't come clean with their attorneys. That might be the case with lw but I think Bynum, Morgan, Haddon, and Hoffstrom (yes that is the right name) all know the true story. Not only that, but I think they knew the true story BEFORE JonBenet's body was found by JR & FW.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Lincoln, Nebraska

    Default Ditto from me

    I agree with that, Spade. Just my opinion, of course.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Austin (Metro area), TX


    I pretty much agree with Spade's assessment though I am not as certain about the "before," part of your statement Spade. IMH&CPO Wood has at least made an educated guess even if he hasn't been told specifically what the Ramseys know.
    Never let the children, Elders, the sick, or the infirm be exploited.

    "I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines." Oliver Goldsmith

    Let's bring all our missing and military home safely!

    All of my thoughts written here are my constitutionally protected opinion.

    I reject any form of government in which the opinion of the village idiot is given the same weight as the opinion of Aristotle. (author unknown)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Southern Silicon Valley !!

    Default Spade,

    what's this BEFORE thing? How could the attys know the truth before the body was found? What are you implying? Comeon give.

  9. #9

    Default Door #3

    The hypothesis that Ramsey attorneys and the Boulder DA's office had contact early in the day of December 26, 1996 is known in LE circles as "Door #3". IMO the truth of this tragedy lies behind "Door #3".

    The most compelling fact supporting this theory is that FW received a phone call from Mike Bynum during the afternoon of 12/26/96 asking FW to come to Bynum's office at 5PM. Upon his arrival, FW was told by Bynum to: "Stay out of this!" The Ramseys have hired Haddon,etal............(This is in ST's book and has been verified personally)

    Now work through this timeline in your heads: FW and John found the body at about 1:15PM. 3 3/4 hours later Haddon, Morgan and Foreman are on board and have Ellis Armisted's snoops on the street. IMO impossible to accomplish in that period of time, EVEN IF JR dumped JBR's body at 1:16 and called Bynum the next minute. JR has to talk to Bynum with detail, Bynum has to eliminate the 300+ lawyers in his own firm, Bynum calls Morgan with enough detail for Morgan to call Haddon and Foreman and the 3 of them reach consensus and call bynum back and tell him they will take the Ramsey's as clients and how MUCH$$$ it is going to cost and Bynum has to call back JR and say we have Haddon,etal on board for $$$ and is that OK? and THEN he can call FW..summon him to his office and tell him to stay out of it. ALL IN 3 3/4 HOURS THE DAY AFTER XMAS? BS

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    The "Beehive State" It's true. Look it up


    WHOA...Knock me off my chair.

    The Ramsey spin started before the 911 call?

    Makes sense.

    Remember in Thomas' book he acted surprised when Fleet White told him the day and time he was contacted by John's attorney? In fact I think Thomas even thought White was mistaken but he wasn't.

    Good God what happened that night?

    How does one go about proving that Hadden was called?

    I don't even know where to start here.

    FFJ C/O Tricia Griffith
    6300 N Sage Wood Drive
    Suite H #214
    Park City UT

    I am unaware of anyone who's profited from exploiting the Ramsey murder over a longer period of time, with a greater disregard for the principles of accuracy and fairness, than the production team of Mills and Tracey.They truly do inhabit a different moral universe from real journalists. It's the difference between journalism and propaganda.
    Alan Prendergast,reporter for Westword

  11. #11
    BobC is offline Poster of the EON - Fabulous Inimitable Transcript and Book Reviewer
    Join Date
    Jan 2002


    I think what FW was being warned away from was certain lawyers' sneaky way of digging up dirt on anyone who goes up against them, and letting the witness know they have the dirt long before they take the stand. I'm sure Bynum knew that any good-intentioned person who got involved would ultimately get smeared.

    I recall early on Peter Boyles swearing up and down that it was a fact that Ramsey called Bynum before he called the police. Kinda makes you wonder...

  12. #12

    Default Whoa!

    Now hold on, Spade. While I would love to believe this, and have always suspected the Rs called at least one lawyer early on, let's hash this through a little more.

    What if JR called Bynum at home right AFTER the 911 call? French showed up 3 minutes after the call according to BPD records. That would make it about 6 am or so. If JR had waited until then, that would give JR the time to place a call to Haddon et al upon Bynum's referral and be waiting for a call back from Haddon during the morning hours. Sometime between 10 and noon, JR disappeared, remember? THEN the body was found at 1-ish and FW was summoned to Bynum's office at 5 to be told to butt out.

    So IF JR placed the Bynum call that early, and considering the gravity of the situation and Bynum's close relationship with the Rs, it's feasible that all this attorney stuff could transpire within the course of, say 12 hours.

    But why would Bynum et al consider it SO important to call FW right in just to tell him to buzz off? What did they fear from FW and not from other Ramsey friends to have called anyone else on the lawyer-rug?

    Oh, Tricia, if I remember correctly, BPD moved the court for a search warrant to get land line and cell phone records from, who else, Qwest, but it got hung up for weeks with the judge. By the time a warrant was issued, Qwest claimed all phone records were either lost or "dumped" from their computers. Yeah, right. Who do you think had the power and influence to pull that off?

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