Yesterday I read an article where a criminal defense lawyer, who met with Lindsay Lohan, had reportedly refused to take her case because he thinks she’s deluded. Apparently this criminal lawyer “ultimately decided to take the case” as reported by People Magazine. Still the question remains… how could a long standing member of the bar betray his client by going to People magazine and shamelessly exploiting what a potential client said in the confidence of a private legal consultation? Where is the conduct committee for lawyer ethics? Perhaps all is not as it seems.
I read numerous blog comments from people who were outraged to see attorney Stuart V. Goldberg sharing an “honest recollection” of his obviously confidential discussion with Lindsay Lohan. Why Goldberg needed to explain to People magazine why he couldn’t accept Lohan as a client went unexplained. His comments regarding Lohan – while not being her attorney of record – were as follows:
“I found her not fully forewarned of the consequence of her actions.”
“I’m concerned that she’s not disciplined or tehtered enough to the reality of adult consequences.”
“She doesn’t seem to have the awareness of what’s going to befall her.”
Goldberg needed “100 percent loyalty and zero tolerance for dishonesty… they didn’t seem to understand the urgency and gravity of the situation.”
From my observation, I am guessing this slick talking criminal lawyer orchestrated the entire event to mislead the public’s perception. On day one, Goldberg appears to decline Lohan as a client because she’s so spoiled and deluded that she’s just not worth the effort. He’s the hero and she’s the spoiled (but helpless) child. On day two, Goldberg has a change of heart and, after reflection, takes her case. What changed his mind?
Reading the ostensibly candid betrayal again, I realize that Goldberg’s comments to People Magazine were likely planned. How else to explain this sudden article – did Goldberg fall out of bed and into the editor’s office? Is it also coincidence that his same words will undoubtedly be used for her defense? Lohan is a “lost child” and so far removed from reality that shei simply unable to understand and appreciate the consequences of her actions.
The manipulation of the press has always been an uneasy issue to manage. But what is problematic to me is when the public is led to believe that it’s the lawyer who can decide whether to disclose the contents of a seemingly confidential legal consultation. If this was all planned, perhaps this goes beyond “zealous representation of the client.”