Conrad Black v. Eddie Greenspan — when disgruntled clients attack

Imagine you’re Conrad Black’s lawyer. Now imagine what would happen if Black — unsatisfied, as one might expect, about his 2007 conviction on multiple fraud and obstruction charges — criticized your defence work publicly. Imagine he called into question your professional conduct, your personal character — even your physical health.

Well, as most of you know by now, that’s exactly what happened last fall when Black took a run at Eddie Greenspan in his latest book, A Matter of Principle.

Disgruntled clients lashing out at their lawyers is nothing new, of course. But what made this story fascinating for lawyers is that Greenspan actually shot back with an op-ed in The Globe and Mail in which he comments that Black’s “flawed account of his own trial is a reminder of how seldom an accused person actually grasps what is going on in court.”

Some observers have speculated that Greenspan might have gone outside the rules of professional conduct in defending himself; others say he was well within his rights.

Lexpert‘s Ethics columnist Paul Paton takes us through the whole sordid affair one last time, and looks to the rules of professional conduct for some guidance on what kind of reputational abuse lawyers should be forced to endure before they’re entitled to defend themselves.

It’s a fantastic read, available right here for Lexpert subscribers.

David Dias

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: