How do you tell the difference?  Gerald Eastman discusses the answer to this question and more in his recent blog post:

From Gerald Eastman’s “The Last Inspector” blog.

My blog today has a lot to do with part of my July 29th, 2007 blog, “What is Wrong With the Legal System?” which can be found at the following link: … 729-222028

It has to do with the portion of the blog dealing with lawyers I had had to deal with over the course of my quest to end the Boeing fraud documented on my web site, specifically (with the important points bolded):

“You would hope somewhere in this system there was somebody that followed the rules and did their jobs…A prosecutor’s office. A company’s legal department. A private legal firm. An attorney.

It seems finding people of integrity in the legal system is as slapdash as it was to find such people in my department when I was an inspector at Boeing. I was almost alone in being the one with enough integrity to do my job while being pressured not to do it by people without integrity.

Take the Boeing Legal department, for instance, which I tried to report fraud to on two occasions and who are assisting in my persecution now. They have many attorneys in house who presumably had to pass the bar and have to stay members of the bar to continue their profession.

Why weren’t any of them kicked out of the bar association when they advised Boeing that the State Department had no authority to keep them from exporting militarily sensitive devices on aircraft to proscribed countries without an export license? It would seem like an open and shut case. The State Department prevailed over the Boeing legal department’s wrong legal opinion that may have placed our country in danger. Boeing had to pay a $15 million dollar fine. But why weren’t the attorneys who made that obviously incorrect decision fired or disbarred to keep them from making such huge “errors” in the future? Your guess may be as good as mine. There seems to be a lack of accountability in the profession. Or did Boeing’s attorneys give the errant legal opinion and let the militarily sensitive technology on the airplanes deliver just because Boeing needed to deliver the airplanes to meet revenue and profit targets? That might explain both the highly questionable opinion by Boeing’s attorneys and why Boeing deferred complying with State Department requests for Boeing to apply for export licenses before delivering such airplanes on multiple occasions. It also explains why such attorneys were not fired or debarred for incompetence. They were just doing their jobs. But that would have made them even better candidates for disbarment, you would think.

But since when did attorneys stop advising companies how to avoid legal problems by ensuring they complied with laws, and stop advising companies how to minimize the damage from any accidental breaking of the law, and start advising their companies how to break the law with impunity?

I saw that in the same Boeing legal department. They refused to end the fraud in quality assurance I reported to their chief counsel on two occasions, and instead seemed to pull out all the stops in ensuring that fraud was not ended, as a naive person like me (at the time) might have expected. Hell, the Chief Counsel of Boeing showed up at the doorstep of my work not to help end the fraud, but instead to decide how to dispose of me, who they viewed as the real problem. You would think any attorney involved in this covering up of this fraud and the resulting retaliation against me would be a prime candidate for disbarment. But I have no knowledge of any of them being disbarred. To this day they labor to cover up the same fraud I reported to them over five years ago…Indeed, my prosecution is just one part of their plan to cover up the noted fraud.

But if private legal departments operate thusly, what about our prosecutors? Wouldn’t those attorneys who work on our dime spot such fraud and the related efforts to cover it up by placing false reports to the police to get people trying to end it arrested and the information they were gathering for the relevant authorities confiscated? Nope. They apparently do what the Boeing legal department wants them to do, not what is in the interests of the public or public safety. They decide to participate in the cover up by attacking the messenger of the fraud. Of course, maybe it is not incompetence or corruption that caused our public attorneys to act against their professional ethics. Maybe Boeing’s chief outside law firm contributing to the campaign of the prosecutor who faces his first election for King County Prosecutor in a few months played a part. I don’t know if Boeing is helping his election directly yet, but they have certainly proven themselves arrogant enough to do so. Shouldn’t these types of activities cause these prosecutors to get disbarred as well? It would seem so. I don’t see the bar association condoning this type of behavior.

…I am just one insignificant “victim” of unethical public and private attorneys working together that should probably be disbarred for incompetence and/or corruption. There will be others, unless someone, like I did in my job as an inspector at Boeing, stands up and actually does their job with the required ethics.”

End of blog excerpt.

What I wanted to relay today was some insight I have gotten into the answer for this conundrum: Attorneys protecting illegalities rather than representing their clients in order to prevent illegalities from occurring or to defend their clients after they have (wittingly or not) engaged in illegal activity. While researching this subject, I have found a startling answer by consulting definitive sources of legal information on the subject:

As it turns out, the behavior of attorneys I mentioned in the above examples that help their clients continue to engage in fraud in any way (covering it up, etc.) are not just doing their jobs as attorneys. Such attorneys are in fact considered accomplices in the fraud or crime they help ensure continues, rather than ensure it ends. Those among you who are legally savvy are probably saying “duh” right now, but this was news to me.

What does this mean? (Yeah, get ready for another “duh” moment.) Of course, it means that attorneys cannot legally act in the way I have witnessed them act. There is nothing that lets them do their jobs in that way. Such attorneys that cover up ongoing fraud or enable its continuance don’t just need to be disbarred–they are as complicit themselves with those that commit the fraud they are protecting. They are criminals, not attorneys. Due to the lowly state of public opinion of attorneys you may not sense the significance of this. Some people think all lawyers are bad and even criminally so because they have been so demonized as a group. However, what I found out shows (in this one area of law) who the real attorneys who are criminals are, and why they are criminal accomplices rather than just counsel to criminals.

So, attorneys who protect such fraud should be disbarred and tried with those whose fraud they were protecting. The fact that this kind of behavior by attorneys seems so common (in the limited circle of public and private attorneys I have had to deal with) is even more disconcerting with the knowledge it is not only ABA rules they are breaking, but that they are breaking the law as well.

It is indeed a sad era in America when both public and private attorneys protect fraud that places so many lives at extra levels of risk of an unknown and random severity.