Rudy Giuliani, Hugh Spitzer, Joseph Degen discussed on KUOW Newsroom

KUOW Newsroom


This is komo. I'm camel kim. It took one sentence for the united states supreme court this week to declined to overturn certified election results in pennsylvania. It was the latest failed attempt by donald trump's lawyers to challenge the november election which he lost. It's not just judges that are rejecting rudy giuliani's arguments so are many others in his own profession. A bipartisan group of over fifteen hundred lawyers have signed an open letter addressed to the american bar association. Saying trump's lawyers need to be held accountable. One of the signatories is hugh spitzer. He teaches constitutional law and legal ethics and professional responsibility at the university of washington. School of law professor. Spitzer thanks for joining us today. Pleased to be here. so why. sign this letter well. I've been concerned for quite a while. That some of the activities of a rudy giuliani joseph degen uva sydney powell janet ellis. Those lawyers specifically have violated any number of the basic rules of professional conduct. That lawyers are subject to nationwide. Can give us some specifics. Sure there is for example. A rule in almost every state probably every state That lawyers are not permitted to bring or cases on behalf of their clients unless they have a good faith belief that they have both the law and the facts on their son. This rule has been around and serious for about two thousand years in our legal traditions. And it doesn't mean that a lawyer has to have all the facts together but she or he needs to know that there is really a there there before they bring an action and these lawyers have gone beyond the bounds. In that was there may be a time on it on this to a certain extent. Whatever energy is behind. Trump's legal moves that may dissipate by the time the electoral college votes and puts the final seal on the election results and that's happening december fourteenth. So i'm wondering if these failed lawsuits. Just drop out of the news. What kind of disciplined could they be facing if anything. I went through the the rules of professional conduct yesterday in about ten minutes identified at least eight separate sections of those rules that one or the other or all these lawyers have violated. They could face depending on the state. Anything from admonishment which is a slap on the wrist. Sometimes private sometimes public up through suspension for a period of time six months or a year or two or disbarments simply losing their licenses and the disciplinary sist run by bar associations or court systems throughout the country under the always under the supervision of the courts with a great deal of due process and hearing sin song but ultimately they could have their licenses suspended or they could lose their licenses to practice law. I remember when i spoke with the about this earlier. You asked me if i could tell that you were getting a little bit worked up about this whole issue. Tell me about twenty a little bit more. Well i teach professional responsibility to students. And i spend a great deal of time. Emphasizing their individual obligation to observe the rules and to act in a highly professional way throughout their careers. And i almost put question on the exam at asking the students to identify how how many rules of professional conduct could find that. These people had violated. I didn't do that in the end but cross your mind. It's sure across anything else that you think. The general public should keep in mind as they see. These lawsuits play out. I think it's really important for people to continue to have confidence not only in our democratic system in our electoral system we have a remarkably honest and fair system regardless of what some people including the president and these lawyers are saying and they also need to continue to have confidence in our legal system and the regulation of lawyers as part of that system. Hugh spitzer teaches legal ethics and professional responsibility among other things at the university of washington. School of law professor spitzer. Thank you for your time thank you..

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