Yesterday I spent half an hour debating whether it would be ethically permissible to have our sweet, innocent young clerk send a friend request on MySpace to the complaining witness in a sexual abuse case in order to get access to a greater array of the lesbian bondage, drinking, and partying pictures the witness posted, in order to better impeach her at trial.
I didn't get creeped out by the whole discussion until I realized I had not been creeped out by the whole discussion, if you follow me.
(For the record, my determination was that it was close to the line, and therefore we would not do it. The witness is represented by counsel, possibly in connection with her status as a witness. Is a MySpace friend request, with no substantive content, a contact regarding the subject of the representation, and thus prohibited under the Rule of Professional Responsibility forbidding contact with represented parties? Not sure. I could make a good argument that it is not. But I'd rather not have to make that argument, thanks.)
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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