Dear Leader’s signature campaign tactic: Go rooting through someone else’s divorce files, and splash them across the front pages. It is, in fact, how he got to be a U.S. senator.
Unless you’re a lawyer representing one of the parties, there is just something irredeemably tacky about sifting through the legal fall-out of others’ domestic problems. It’s the sort of thing indulged in by “oppo researchers” and others who wear hats indoors. They probably drink their beer from a can in a sack, too.
And here we’ve got one of them in the Oval Office, where he can put his feet up on the Resolute desk, a gift from Queen Victoria to the American people. Kindly spare me any assertion that the campaign is not behind this maneuver. I’m not the brightest bulb in the fixture, but to ask me to believe at face value that Gloria Allred just happens to have hooked up with a woman whose divorce lies buried under decades’ worth of archival dust, and who doesn’t appear to have done too shabbily out of the thing in the first place — that’s insulting to the meanest of intelligence.
A few things strike me about the people I’ve heard this Allred (how appropriate) woman “representing.” The initial thing is that the client is never, ever the sole interest benefitted by Allred’s actions on behalf of her client, or in fact the chief interest benefitted. There’s someone or something else behind the scenes, never mentioned of course in the news reports, who stands to benefit from her doings much, much more than her nominal client. Like the illegal alien whom she “represented” against Meg Whitman. Allred exposed her nominal client to a risk of deportation (or maybe she’d already been assured by the INS that that flank was covered? maybe?) in order to embarrass a political opponent of her . . . well, let’s just call them the people who benefitted most from what she did. Ditto this new “client.” What purpose, exactly, is being served for her by unsealing divorce records from years ago? She went through an ugly divorce. OK, that only happens several hundred thousand times a year. Is she going to experience some great epiphany of healing by seeing it all played out on national television? We can’t say; maybe she really craves her few moments of fame.
Maybe she also craves being one more exploited woman, one more time. Because that’s another thing that’s struck me about the people “represented” by Gloria Allred: the ones we hear about are all women, who are all transparently allowing themselves, their lives, their misfortunes, to be used by strangers, invariably men it seems, and then put back on the curb, precisely as one would do with a street-walker one had picked up. I mean, seriously, has anyone done any follow-up story on Whitman’s poor o-pressed illegal alien housekeeper (or whatever it was she did)? Anyone check to see if she’s got a green card (or for that matter, how soon after she allowed Allred to “represent” her she had one miraculously issued) or health insurance, or where she lives? Is anyone going to check on this newest “client” five years from now to see how she’s doing after having what we must assume to be intimate details about a decades-in-the-past existence spelled out in nice, gentle, legalistic language for 300+ million people’s salacious gratification?
Maybe I really am just a stoopid country lawyer. OK; I very likely am just such and no more. But a lawyer has no ethical duty I am aware of to participate in a course of action obviously contrary to the client’s actual interests, especially where that client is being used by other clients of the lawyer. May a lawyer ethically do so, after full disclosure of all <ahem!> conflicts of interest the lawyer may have? Yes, she can. Ought she do so, as someone supposedly practicing a learned and noble profession? Well, she’s the one who’s got to brush her own teeth in the morning.