Bad Employment News in March
Why Oh Why Does Michael Barone Have a Job?

The John Yoo Situation

Hoisted from Comments: Charley Carp writes:

Grasping Reality with Both Hands: Economist Brad DeLong's Fair, Balanced, and Reality-Based Semi-Daily Journal: Another vote for taking action. Prof. Yoo willfully mistated the law -- with respect to both Quirin (see n. 13) and Youngstown, at the least -- for the purpose of allowing criminals engaging in criminal conduct to claim reliance on advice of counsel. He's a mob lawyer, not fit to be considered scholar or gentleman.

A proper statement of the holding of Quirin on the point made would have shown that his entire analysis was contrary to the authority upon which he was basing it.

Obviously, Prof. Yoo might think (contrary to the views expressed by Justice Alito and Chief Jutice Roberts at their confirmation hearings) Youngstown wrongly decided. At an absolute minimum, though, he's obligated to say so and explain coherently when advising a client as to what the law provides.

This is, I think, a serious breach of legal ethics: It is a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility to lie to your clients by omitting key Supreme Court cases from your memos. It does raise the question of whether John Yoo is incompetent at his university duties: budding lawyers need to learn what their professional ethical responsibilities are, and someone who does not understand them cannot teach them.