BE PREPARED – IT’S NOT JUST FOR SCOUTS
As I am sure most of my readers know, the Scouts’ motto is “Be Prepared.” I wasn’t much of a scout, for a host of reasons that aren’t relevant here. But I am a media lawyer and as it turns out the motto – “Be Prepared” – may apply to that role as much as it does to the Scouts.
What brings on this revelation is an article from the Columbia Journalism Review about my friend Rob Balin. Rob has been in the news lately for his role in the Michael Cohen hearing that exposed Sean Hannity as Cohen’s third client.
The linked CJR article is a Q&A with Rob. He notes that the day of the hearing, he wasn’t even permitted to sit at counsel table. His clients were various media outlets who weren’t parties to the case. But he knew it was likely there’d be a request to restrict access to at least some information, and he prepared for that prospect. This included giving the bailiff his card as a heads up that Rob would potentially address the court.
And so, when the court asked Cohen to name his clients (there was a question whether Cohen had acted as an attorney so as to invoke the attorney client privilege. The court asked Cohen to identify his clients to establish his right to invoke the privilege) he named two – President Trump, Republican fundraiser Elliot Broidy, and an unnamed third client. So when it appeared the court would allow the third client’s name submitted under seal, Rob was ready.
And his preparation paid off when it was revealed that client number three was Sean Hannity. As much as we lawyers like to inflate our achievements, there’s rarely real drama in a courtroom, much less gasp inspiring events. But this was one.
All thanks to preparation. The Scouts would be proud.