Dr. Ford’s lawyers neglected to inform their client that she could have been interviewed by female staffers at home, in private rather than the formal hearing in Washington, DC.
Although Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh is now sitting on the bench of America’s highest court following a confirmation process that shocked most clear-thinking Americans due to the Democratic senators’s shenanigans, duplicity and out-and-out dishonesty, there remains the threat of impeachment made by Sen. Dianne Feinstein who is threatening a replay.
‘The California senator is threatening to reopen the case of Prof. Christine Blasey Ford’s alleged rape at the hands of Justice Kavanaugh 36-years-ago. The sex crime circus appeared to backfire since Feinstein and her leftist cohorts in the Senate and the news media had no proof of a crime other than Ford’s foggy recollections.
But on Friday, a group of attorneys working for a successful government watchdog announced the filing of an official complaint to the Board of Professional Responsibility of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. The complaint names attorneys Debra S. Katz, Lisa J. Banks, and Michael R. Bromwich and accuses them of violating the rules of professional responsibility in their representation of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during the senate judiciary committee’s probe of alleged misconduct by Justice Kavanaugh.
According to the Judicial Watch complaint, the attorneys withheld important information from their client Dr. Ford. They failed to tell Miss Ford that Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had made a written offer to fly female staff investigators to meet Dr. Ford in California, or anywhere else she chose, to obtain a deposition.
The attorneys — Katz, Banks, and Bromwich — violated the following District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct:
Rule l.4(a) – A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.
Rule 1.4(b) – A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.
The Judicial Watch complaint is reprinted below:
To the Office of Disciplinary Counsel:
Judicial Watch hereby files a disciplinary complaint against District of Columbia bar members Debra S. Katz, Lisa J. Banks, and Michael R. Bromwich in connection with their representation of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee [the”Committee”].
Rule l.4(a) of the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct [“DC Rules”] states: “A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.” Rule 1 .4(b) provides: “A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.”
In this case, Dr. Ford made well-publicized allegations of sexual misconduct involving Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, whose nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was before the Committee. Her identity was first revealed in connection with these allegations on September 16, 2018. The next day, September 17, 2018, Ms. Katz went on several television shows asking that the Committee hold a public hearing so that Dr. Ford could offer her testimony.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, honored that request. In a letter sent on September 19, 2018, he informed Ms. Katz and Ms. Banks that the Committee was scheduling a hearing on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination for September 24, 2018, in order to “give Dr. Ford an opportunity to tell her story to the Senate and, if she chooses, to the American people.”
In the letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman, S. Judiciary Comm., to Debra S. Katz and Lisa J. Banks (Sep. I 9, 2018), Grassley informed Ms. Katz and Ms. Banks that the hearing could be public or private, and that Dr. Ford could also choose to have a public or private staff interview with Committee staff, either by phone or in-person.
“To that end,” Chairman Grassley continued, “Committee staff has attempted to contact you directly by phone and e-mail several times to schedule a call at a time convenient for you and your client. We thus far have not heard back from you with regard to that request.” Id. He reiterated that “my staff would still welcome the opportunity to speak with Dr. Ford at a time and place convenient to her.” Id.
On September 21, 2018, Chairman Grassley wrote another letter to Ms. Katz, where he stated that “[t]he Chairman has offered the ability for Dr. Ford to testify in an open session, a closed session, a public staff interview, and a private staff interview. Press Release, Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford ‘Wasn’t Clear’ Committee Offered California Interview in lieu of Public Washington Hearing (Oct. 2, 2018).
“The Chairman is even willing to fly female staff investigators to meet Dr. Ford and you in California, or anywhere else, to obtain Dr. Ford’s testimony,” Grassley stated.
The complaint, which was in the form of a letter to the Board’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, accused Ford’s legal team of violating ethics rules by not informing Ford of overtures made by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).
During her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford said she went to Washington, D.C. despite a fear of flying.
“I was hoping that they would come to me, but then I realized that was an unrealistic request,” she said, apparently not realizing that Grassley had already offered to do exactly that.
Thus, it is clear, by Dr. Ford’s own testimony, that her attorneys did not communicate the Committee’s multiple offers to take her testimony in California, despite the fact that this was Dr. Ford’s preferred option. In fact, Dr. Ford testified that she “wasn’t clear on what the offer was” and regarded the possibility of investigators taking her testimony in California as “unrealistic”-when in fact it had been specifically offered.
Despite knowing of Dr. Ford’s strong preference to not travel to Washington, D.C., it was inexcusable that Dr. Ford’s attorneys should have neglected to inform her of the fact that the Committee investigators were willing to meet her in California. Dr. Ford was thus deprived of the ability to “participate intelligently in decisions concerning the objectives of the representation and the means by which they are to be pursued.” D.C. Rules of Prof I Conduct r. 1.4(b) cmt. 1.
The misconduct of Ms. Katz, Ms. Banks, and Mr. Bromwich noted above has been widely reported. It appears likely that they knowingly subordinated their client’s interest in avoiding the publicity of a Senate hearing and avoiding travel to Washington, D.C. to the desire of Democratic Senators on the Committee to have such a hearing take place in Washington, D.C. Their failure to inform their client of the offer to have Committee staff investigate Dr. Ford in California was dishonest at worst and careless at best. Either way, it is inexcusable, and raises substantial questions about their character and fitness to practice law. It warrants a full investigation by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
“We are concerned that ethics rules were violated by Dr. Ford’s attorneys during the Kavanaugh confirmation and took action to get accountability,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“We already filed a Senate ethics complaint against Sen. Cory Booker over his admitted rule breaking and are considering additional steps to address the misconduct committed by Justice Kavanaugh’s [other] opponents.”