Attorney Misconduct, Benchslaps, Crime, Legal Ethics

Benchslapped Beau Brindley Is Back — And The Target Of A Criminal Probe

Could this investigation spell doom for Beau Brindley’s legal career?

“At the Law Offices of Beau B. Brindley, it is our policy to respond to all criminal charges with a relentless attack on the government. We aggressively pursue every case as if we were the accused.”

Those words, from the website of prominent Chicago defense lawyer Beau Brindley, have proved prescient. Now Brindley might get to feel exactly what it’s like to be in the shoes of the accused.

As we mentioned yesterday, Brindley finds himself the subject of a federal criminal probe. What are the allegations against him?

Before we get to the allegations, let’s provide some background. From a Chicago tipster:

So a criminal defense attorney is sketchy. Uninteresting, generally, right?

The fun thing is, the attorney at issue has been in your august pages in the past.

Yes, that’s right; Brindley is, as Joe Patrice put it yesterday, a “benchslap legend.” Back in February, we declared Brindley the winner of the “benchslap trifecta,” for getting slapped around by all three levels of the federal judiciary — district court, circuit court, and SCOTUS.

But those problems pale in comparison to the trouble that Brindley’s now confronting:

A rising star defense attorney is being targeted in a federal criminal investigation into allegations he solicited a client into perjury in a 2009 drug dealing case.

Prosecutors on Wednesday revealed that the FBI is probing whether lawyer Beau Brindley encouraged drug dealer Rahshone Burnett to lie under oath.

Well, let’s look on the bright side: allegations of suborning perjury from a witness aren’t as bad as allegations of plotting to kill a witness (which helped earn another high-flying defense attorney, Paul Bergrin, six life sentences).

Still, the investigation could create problems for Brindley’s practice. Because of the obvious conflict-of-interest issue, Judge Robert Gettleman appointed a different lawyer, Chuck Aron, to work with Rahshone Burnett, who might have to testify against Brindley in the event of a prosecution. And another Brindley client, convicted gun runner “Big Dave” Lewisbey, fired Brindley yesterday.

But don’t count Beau Brindley out just yet. Official charges have not been brought — right now we’re just at the investigatory stage — and Brindley will likely contest any charges vigorously. As his website declares, “EVERY ‘NOT GUILTY’ BEGINS WITH SOMEONE’S DECISION TO STAND UP AND FIGHT.”

UPDATE (8/21/2014, 8:11 p.m.): It’s official: Beau Brindley has been indicted.

Rising star Chicago defense attorney target of criminal probe [Chicago Sun-Times]
Chicago lawyer under investigation by feds [Chicago Tribune]
Chicago Lawyer Target of Federal Investigation [NBC Chicago]

Earlier: Benchslap Of The Day: You Won’t Like Judge Easterbrook When He’s Mad

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