In cases involving multiple defendants or targets of an investigation, it is not uncommon for experienced criminal defense attorneys to enter into Joint Defense Agreements in order to maximize the combined muscle and effectiveness of the attorneys’ efforts on behalf of their clients. Breaking news that General Michael Flynn exiting the Joint Defense Agreement in which he entered with Donald Trump and, likely, lawyers for Jared Kushner, Carter Page, and other targets of the Russia Investigation, clearly suggests that Flynn is cooperating with Mueller.
WHAT IS A JOINT DEFENSE AGREEMENT?
A Joint Defense Agreement (JDA) is a written contract entered into by individuals and their criminal defense attorneys to share information, resources, and efforts toward their common defense. This allows the lawyers not only to collaborate and share ideas and information, but also allows them to assign and delegate tasks amongst themselves. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows that this will allow him or her to better represent his client while conserving both time and financial resources. JDA’s are most commonly used in complex multi-defendant cases such as wiretaps, white collar, political corruption, and conspiracy cases.
WHAT DOES FLYNN’S EXITING THE JOINT DEFENSE AGREEMENT MEAN?
The terms of most any JDA require that a participant terminate his or her involvement when:
- They are cooperating with prosecutors;
- They are actively negotiation a plea agreement
An essential element of a JDA is confidentiality. Another is trust. All participants of a JDA must agree that no information learned within the confines of the agreement can ever be shared with prosecutors. Violating this provision can have serious ethical implications to the lawyer up to, and including disbarment.
Flynn's advising the other lawyers in the JDA that he is no longer participating sends a clear an unequivocal signal that he is aligned with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Mueller, however, know better than to ask Flynn for information learned within the JDA. Mueller can only use information learned from Flynn that was acquired outside the scope of the JDA.
THE CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER IN PHOENIX WHO UNDERSTANDS JOINT DEFENSE AGREEMENTS
For more than 20 years, Jason Lamm has established himself as one of Phoenix’s preeminent criminal defense attorneys. He has successfully represented numerous clients involved in complex, multi-defendant litigation involving JDA’s. Each agreement is a custom creation designed to best served Jason’s clients’needs. This is consistent with Jason’s model of Phoenix, Arizona’s only boutique criminal defense law firm. If you, or someone you know, is involved in multi-defendant litigation and needs the skills of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney, confidential consultations with Jason Lamm can be scheduled by calling (602) 663-9100.