Dec 052015
 
 December 5, 2015  Breaches

Criminal defense attorney Scott Greenfield writes:

How cool is it that a lawyer can write a tell-all book after his involvement in a huge, high-profile case?  Not cool at all, actually.   Not that Kirk Nurmi wasn’t rip-roaring to go about how much he hated representing Jodi Arias, how horrible, inappropriate and twisted she was.  Was it all that anger that needed to get out?  Was it that he wanted to parlay an unpleasant experience into turning himself into a big name? Was it for the money?

Who knows, but in the process, Kirk Nurmi did what a lawyer cannot do. He violated confidentiality.

Scott calls for Nurmi’s disbarrment.

It doesn’t matter how awful, how horrible, how inappropriate your client was or is. It’s not your story to tell.  Kirk Nurmi is a disagrace for having done so. He should be disbarred and the book should be pulled from the shelves and destroyed.  A criminal defense lawyer is not entitled to give up his client’s confidences no matter what, and it is an intolerable affront to the profession that Nurmi has done so.  There is never an excuse to trash a client, no matter how bad she is. Never.

But will anyone actually file a formal complaint or will the board open an investigation under its own authority?  Will Nurmi respond to Scott’s criticism by publicly stating whether he obtained consent from Arias to discuss any of their interactions that are not already in public court records?

Sometimes, it’s really, really hard to hold confidences and to maintain an outwardly professional posture with respect to a client, but lawyers and mental health professionals have a heightened obligation to do so.

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