Lindsay Lohan’s search for a new lawyer led to a Chicago Lawyer named Stuart Goldberg. How she found Mr. Goldberg, I don’t know, as his website seems to indicate he specializes in State and Federal street narcotics cases. But in any event, he was flown to LA to meet with Lohan for six hours to see if he would be her new lawyer. Apparently the meeting didn’t go well because Goldberg didn’t get the gig. But what he did get was a media opportunity that he quickly used to expose some of his prospective client’s issues. Here are the two most prominent quotes attributed to him:
“I’m concerned that she’s not disciplined or tethered enough to the reality of adult consequences. She doesn’t seem to have the awareness of what’s going to befall her.”
This quote is not something that will help her as she goes on probation or even as she is housed in custody. It could likely result in law enforcement placing greater restrictions on her than they otherwise would have. Her potential lawyer told the world she is not “Tethered to reality” and lacks “awareness” of what’s happening to her. While truth may be a defense in a defamation lawsuit, it is not a defense to breaching client confidentiality and your obligation to put your client first. While he was not yet her lawyer, the attorney-client privilege is in place when you are giving a consultation to determine if you are gong to be retained. He could have only learned about her awareness or how tethered she was to reality during the six hour interview. Here’s his second quote:
My impression of Lindsay is that she’s a fragile lost child – a sleeping beauty with her head in the sand. I found her not fully forewarned of the consequence of her actions.
Hardly a vote of confidence for someone about to be under the careful watch of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Probation. He also blurted out that during the interview, Lindsay wrote diagonally across a writing pad, exactly as was depicted in the courtroom pictures showing her adorning her nails with “f*ck you.” While she has since admitted that her nails were painted that way, this last piece of information should not have come from her prospective lawyer. You think the judge assigned to her case or the probation officer who will be are not reading all of this? This interview occurred in People magazine for crying out loud.
Yes, we are all spending too much time focusing on this simple Violation of Probation case, but it serves as an example of what happens to lawyers when they get in this arena. It is unsettling to me to see lawyers throw their client’s best interests out the window for the sake of publicity. Very, very rarely is it in a criminal defense client’s interest to have media attention and long quotes from your lawyer in the newspaper. It can be very hard for clients, especially celebrities, to not have “their side of the story” in print or online to balance all of the bad press. But that’s for the publicist to figure out with the legal representative how to slowly put out positive information without damaging the defense of the client. If it can’t be done, then it can’t be done and hopefully the result will be the vindication the client needs. Lohan’s first lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley did a goo d job of doing that , but could have done more to control Lohan’s courtroom appearance and demeanor as I previously wrote about (before the nail fiasco).
More media attention and personal information revealing her instability is the last thing this young woman needed. She needs a good LA-based criminal appellate lawyer to tell her whether she has a shot at reducing her sentence (unlikely) and to help begin the restoration of her life and career. And the first criteria to ask during the interview is “Will you keep your mouth closed?”