Friday, September 02, 2005

People v. Navarro (Cal. Ct. App. - Aug. 15, 2005)

Dirty little secret time. Here goes:

I talk to reporters. I know, I know. By definition, that means I'm a vainglorious, egocentric whore. Who likes to see his name in print because that way he feels important. Because that's why people talk to reporters.

I understand that critique. And take at least some of it to heart. But, in my defense, I actually like talking to reporters. Who, in all honesty, are -- as a general matter -- much smarter and more well-informed than I would have previously thought. Often times, they know a whole lot more about a particular topic than I do, even though I'm the one who ends up being quoted. So I've been (again, in general) pretty darn impressed by what I've seen in the several years in which I've interacted fairly extensively with the press. Plus, as a final defense (I know: I'm a bit defensive about this stuff), I don't actually read most any of the stuff I'm quoted in that much anymore. Was interesting at first (ditto for television). Now it's just a job.

I say all this because today is the first day I actually have gotten something as a result from talking to a reporter. And it's a big benefit. Namely: The ability to be lazy. One of my favorites. Because, since I already talked to a reporter (Douglas Sherwin of the San Diego Daily Transcript) about Justice Rubin's holding in this case, I don't have to actually spell out my thoughts. I can just cut and paste the link to his article. Yippee!

Of course, my thoughts on the subject are in substantially more detail than are expressed in the article, which is all about Justice Rubin's basic holding that a lawyer can unethically violate her sworn duties and rat out her client to the police without that deliberate breach of confidence being excluded at trial. As you'll see, I'm not a big fan of this rule. For lots of different reasons.

P.S. - As you'll see on the link, the relevant deputy district attorney, Patrick Moran, told the reporter (as well as the Court of Appeal) that this holding was proper because the police officers "just received this information" and "didn't seek it out." Right. That's why they had -- by their own account -- 10 to 40 separate telephone conversations with the lawyer. That wasn't debriefing her. That was just listening. Even in the ones where the police initiated the call. The police didn't really "participate" in any of those conversations at all. They were just passive recipients. Really. Entirely passive. Yep.