An Omaha case in which a down-on-his-luck attorney agreed to wear a wire for the U.S. attorney's office to get incriminating statements during a jail meeting with a local inmate raises “one huge legal ethics question,” Ashby Jones writes in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog. Defense attorneys are moving to suppress evidence collected by the lawyer, Terry Haddock. The inmate, Shannon Williams, is the alleged ringleader of a big marijuana conspiracy.
The case, first detailed by the Omaha World-Herald, is reverberating in legal circles. Federal prosecutors have not disclosed whether Haddock is being paid for his work as an informant. While the authorities are defending their actions, Jones calls the decision “legal but unethical.” One legal expert called the use of a lawyer as an informant against a client “shocking.”