Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly Book Report

Pages: 3 (1191 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Law

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .

Employing this approach, Haller zealously litigated and advocated on Roulet's behalf throughout trial, even though he began to detest his dishonest client, believing him to be guilty. Haller pursued an excellent defense at trial even though he began violating his own rule to ignore the irrelevant question of whether a client was guilty.

Haller's continued advocacy on Roulet's behalf demonstrates Haller's commitment to defense work -- if Haller had wished to end his employment for Roulet based on his suspicion of Roulet in the murder of his investigator and other conflicts within their relationship, he could have requested permission from the court. Per the California Rules of Professional Conduct, with the court's permission, an attorney may withdraw from representing a client if the client renders it unreasonably difficult for the attorney to carry out the representation effectively.[footnoteRef:-1] [-1: Cal. Rules of Professional Conduct, rule 3-700]

Ironically, Haller declined to zealously advocate and pursue a defense at jury trial for Jose Menendez, an incarcerated past client. Like Roulet, Mendendez had also insisted on his innocence to the charge of murder, but Haller failed to recognize his innocence. Haller had convinced Menendez, who was in fact, innocent, to plead guilty rather than go to trial. With his discovery of Mendendez innocence, in connection with his discovery of Roulet's guilt, Haller was haunted by the words of his lawyer father: " the scariest client a lawyer will ever have is an innocent client. Because if you fuck up and he goes to prison, it'll scar you for life."

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(p. 100). Menendez was later released and brought a malpractice action against Haller.

TOPIC: Book Report on Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly Assignment

Through defense investigation and communications with Roulet, Haller learned that Roulet had killed people in the past, and Haller suspected that Roulet killed his investigator, Levin. However, Haller has a duty of confidentiality to his client. As a general rule, communications between an attorney and client during the course of professional representation are confidential. This means that the client has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent others from disclosing, most information communicated between him and his attorney. Even if a client such as Roulet confesses that he committed the charged crime, or that he committed murders in the past, the rules of professional conduct prohibit an attorney from disclosing such information if he learned it within the scope of legal representation. Fortunately for Haller, the attorney-client privilege ceases when a client brings a malpractice action against his attorney. Thus, when Roulet later ends up suing Haller, Haller can properly breach his duty of confidentiality.

There is another exception to the confidentiality rule: an attorney may reveal confidential information relating to the representation of a client if the attorney reasonably believes the disclosure is necessary to prevent a criminal act likely to result in death or substantial bodily harm to another.[footnoteRef:0] Therefore, when Haller reasonably believed that Roulet was going to harm his family, he could have informed the police instead of conspiring to have a motorcycle gang assault Roulet. Such vigilantism is certainly illegal and could result in criminal charges, as well as discipline from the State Bar. On the other hand, with charges hanging over his head for the murder of his investigator, the police were not exactly on Haller's side. [0: Cal. Rules of Professional Conduct, rule 3-500]

In conclusion, The Lincoln Lawyer raises a variety of complex legal and ethical issues confronting a criminal defense attorney in the California criminal justice system.

References

Connelly, Michael (2005). The Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel. Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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