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Karen Sypher's Lawyers May Need A Refresher Course On Law's Finer Points [CORRECTION]

Last we heard of Rick Pitino extortionist Karen Sypher's legal counsel, she was performing oral sex on him in his office. But that lawyer testified against her in her trial, so things weren't working out so well there.


Her new legal team's public face is James Faller of U.S. Justice Watch, which appears to be a Twitter account and not an LLP. Faller, who does not appear to be an attorney, is too busy lawyerin' to do the work expected of a lawyer. As is Sypher's actual attorney, David Nolan.

A tipster alerts us to this footnote from US v. Sypher, available here:

The court notes here that defense counsel appears to have cobbled much of his statement of the law governing ineffective assistance of counsel claims by cutting and pasting, without citation, from the Wikipedia web site. [...] The court reminds counsel that such cutting and pasting, without attribution, is plagiarism. The court also brings to counsel's attention Rule 8.4 of the Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct, which states that it is professional misconduct for an attorney to "engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation." [...] Finally, the court reminds counsel that Wikipedia is not an acceptable source of legal authority in the United States District Courts.


Burned, by Judge Charles R. Simpson III, who probably had to ask his grandkids what Wikipedia was.

The middle guy, though, Louisville's James A. Earhart, wasn't so hot either. She fired him in October, before sentencing, but his legend lives on.


Here's Earhart's website, which features an unironic fuchsia-filtered eagle and the note that "he focuses his practice on all types of federal and state criminal charges."


Indeed, among his listed "principle [sic] areas of interest" is pretty much everything. He does "drug trafficking/importation," "DUI and other serious driving offenses," "maritime crimes," and "pornography and First Amendment related offenses." This guy is Cravath, Swaine, and Moore all rolled into one.

Amazing, you know, that Sypher was convicted—and, speaking of which, she's in Florida today to report to prison.


CORRECTION: Reader Brendan notes that Nolan, Sypher's new lawyer, not Earhart, filed the plagiarized chunk. He's right, we're wrong — the post has been fixed. We apologize for the error. We do not apologize for making fun of the purple eagle. It's a fucking purple eagle.

Additionally, Sypher has now checked into prison.

Karen Sypher, Attorneys Hoping For Last-Minute Appeal [WLKY]
Earhart Law Office []
Court condemns copying from Wikipedia [Legal Writing Prof Blog]

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