Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Why Lawyers Are Despised: Reason Number 113
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a lawyer's right to invoke attorney-client privilege in refusing to say if a now-dead client knew anything about the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl.

The court ruled 7-0 that the spouse of the deceased client has the right to waive confidentiality.

Two lower courts had ordered Beth Lewis to disclose whether her client, Jan Franks, had information about Erica Baker, who vanished in 1999 while walking her dog near her home in a Dayton suburb.

Franks died of a drug overdose in 2001. Her husband, Shane Franks, granted Lewis permission to testify, but Lewis argued that state law gave her the choice to refuse if it is in her client's interest.

Writing for the court, Chief Justice Thomas Moyer rejected that interpretation, saying: 'The attorney-client privilege belongs solely to the client -- not the attorney.'[Nitpicker emphasis]
Her client died in 2001, it's 2004 - why shouldn't the attorney be charged with obstruction? I'm not generally a proponent of civil suits but I hope the little girl's parents bury this attorney.


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