Final Protective Fire


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Friday, July 26, 2002

Once again, Bill O'Reilly takes some cheap shots at attorneys. This time at Avila - the man accused of killing Samantha Runnion - defense attorney who got him acquited of an earlier molestation charge. This is really quite despicable on O'Reilly's part as he misrepresents the ethical issue, misrepresents the role of the defense attorney in our adversarial system of justice and takes cheap shots. Once again, Bill, you disgust me with how low you will stoop.

The ABA rule 1.16 O'Reilly refers to s does not infer what O'Reilly claims for it ( see Colorado's version for instance ) nor does it include the defense attorney's duty to cross-examine and confront the evidence against the defendant - and it certainly has nothing to do with what the defense attorney may or may not "know" about his client's culpability. Our system of justice depends for its credibility on the reliance that both the prosecution and the defense are vigorously exercising their roles.

Even if I become convinced that Avila killed Runnion, that does not mean that I or O'Reilly actually know that Avila was truly guilty of the previous charges. Avila's attorney was entitled - indeed had the duty - to present to the jury all reasonable inferences from the evidence and testimony. For O'Reilly to argue to the contrary is irresponsible. It is O'Reilly who is undermining our system of justice. It is O'Reilly who should have some sleepness nights at his cheap shots.

By the way, O'Reilly is obviously ignorant of the fact that California does not use the ABA Model Rules, although the provision on termination of employment has similar language.