A SIGNAL --— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) December 18, 2018
Judge Sullivan says he disagrees with the plea agreement that saw Gen. David Petraeus avoid felony charges.
The difference between a law professor and professional loud mouth (Alan Dershowitz) and a real lawyer with extensive courtroom experience:
“This sentencing is unique. It’s unique because of the allegations made in the 11th hour by General Flynn’s lawyers,” Napolitano said. “Which I thought were inappropriate. When the government says zero, that’s the best thing you want. The allegations were ‘Our client wasn’t treated fairly, he was manipulated.'”
Host Harris Faulkner asked Napolitano why Flynn’s team decided to do this.
“I think they thought that this judge, who has a backbone of steel, would be so aggravated at what the FBI did that he might through the whole thing out,” he said.
Napolitano was then asked to react to the judge’s statement that Flynn “sold your country out.”
“That is a very, very harsh analysis of this. One that totally undermines the argument that President Trump has been saying,” he said.
Fox News co-host Lisa Boothe pushed back and defended the strategy, causing a heated confrontation.
“Why is it inappropriate, though, for Flynn’s attorneys to raise concerns? Particularly in a time when you have James Comey admitting that they went outside the typical FBI protocol. They took advantage of this White House. Why would it be inappropriate?” she asked.
“The answer to your question, Lisa, is a great question. Why was it critical to the lawyer’s customer when the government says zero, remain silent. The time to attack the government has long passed. It’s a little late,” Napolitano said.
Attacking the government, in other words, is only going to harm your client's interests.
You can insist (if you want) that the judge should agree with your reading of the law (the Dershowitz position); that doesn't serve the interests of your client one whit. Which is the primary difference between a law professor like Dershowitz, and a trial lawyer like Napolitano: your job as a lawyer is to represent your client, not an ideology or legal theory. As Napolitano says: when the government is asking for no jail time, shut up and take it. If Flynn wanted his lawyers to do otherwise, they should have refused and even withdrawn if necessary; what they did actually constitutes malpractice, as it may have damaged their client's interests.
Which is all Dershowitz's arguments amount to: pushing an ideology (i.e., legal theory) at the expense of the people affected by his argument. The difference between a lawyer and a law professor is that the latter can argue abstract concepts; the former has a client with interests that must be protected, especially from going to prison.
Dershowitz still insists he is right and the world is wrong (the Donald Trump Weltanschaaung); not a good look for a lawyer, who is literally trained to know better:
"Wrong" according to Dershowitz; that and 5 bucks will get you a decent cup of coffee at Starbucks. That's all such a "legal opinion" is worth.That was wrong too.— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) December 18, 2018