Sep
01
Admissions scam: Loughlin, Giannulli stick with the same legal team


DEIRDRE: FACING QUESTIONS OVER POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, ACTRESS LORI LAUGHLIN AND HER HUSBAND LEAVING A BOSTON COURTROOM MOMENTS AGO AFTER A HEARING IN THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL. FOX NEWS’S MOLLY LINE OUTSIDE THE COURTHOUSE. WHAT’S THE LATEST? REPORTER: DEIRDRE, CLEARLY THE COUPLE WANTS TO PRESENT A UNITED FRONT. LORI LAUGHLIN AND HER HUSBAND HOLDING HANDS, SITTING SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE JUDGE IN FEDERAL COURT THIS WAS ALL ABOUT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. THIS WAS A HEARING THAT ESSENTIALLY WAS ALL ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY SHARE SOME OF THE SAME ATTORNEYS THOUGH EACH RETAINS SEPARATE COUNSEL. SEVERAL POTENTIAL PITFALLS WERE EXPLORED DURING THE HEARING. SEEMINGLY OF GREATER CONCERN THROUGH THE PROSECUTORS AND JUDGE, GEE — GIANULLI HIRED LAWYERS FROM A SMALLER FIRM. SHE COULD TESTIFY AGAINST GIANULLI AND OTHER PARENTS. SHE ALSO ALLEGED TO USED THROUGH THE MASTERMIND OF THE SCHEME TO HAVE PAID TO GET HER DAUGHTERS INTO USC, THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. THAT IS THE SCHOOL THAT LAUGHLIN AND GIANULLI ARE ALSO ACCUSED GOING THROUGH THE MASTERMIND OF THE SCHEME TO GET DAUGHTERS IN. LAUGHLIN AND GIANULLI ACCUSED OF PAYING $500,000 COACHES, ADMINISTRATORS ULTIMATELY THROUGH THE MASTERMIND TO ACHIEVE THAT GOAL. THE COUPLE SIGNED WAIVERS TODAY, AFFIRMED DESIRE TO CONTINUE TO SHARE A LEGAL TEAM. WORTH NOTING THEY ARE FACING IF CONVICTED ON THE CHARGES, 40 YEARS IN PRISON EACH. AND THEY ARE AMONG DEFENDANTS CHOOSING TO GO FORWARD, NOT PLEADING GUILTY AT THIS POINT IN THE CASE ALTHOUGH MANY OTHERS DECIDED TO DO SO. DEIRDRE? DEIRDRE: THANK YOU SO MUCH. MOLLY LINE FOR NEWS BOSTON. CONNELL: HERE IS ATTORNEY WHITNEY VAUGHN TO TALK MORE ABOUT THIS. GOOD TO SEE YOU. WE HAVEN’T TALKED ABOUT THIS STORY, SINCE WHEN IT FIRST BROKE, FELT LIKE WE ARE ALL OVER IT. WE HAVE IT PARTICULAR HEARING THAT MOLLY DESCRIBES. KIND OF NORMAL TO YOU, THIS CONFLICT OF INTEREST TYPE OF STUFF, HUSBAND AND WIFE HAVE THE SAME LAWYER, MAYBE MIGHT WANT TO THINK TWICE ABOUT THAT, IN CASE THEY DON’T AGREE, RIGHT?>>ABSOLUTELY. IT IS NORMAL IN SITUATIONS WHERE YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND YOU HAVE CODEFENDANTS ESPECIALLY A HUSBAND AND WIFE, THEY WOULD HAVE SEPARATE COUNSEL, AS MOLLY MENTIONED THEY DO HAVE DIFFERENT COUNSEL HERE. BUT THEY ALSO BOTH HAVE THE SAME COUNSEL IN ADDITION TO THEIR SEPARATE COUNSEL I BELIEVE THEIR LEAD COUNSEL IN EACH OF THEIR CASES. SO IT IS NOT OVERWHELMINGLY COMMON THAT THIS WOULD HAPPEN BUT IT IS A COMMON WHEN THE SITUATION OCCURS THE COURT WILL LOOK INTO IT, AND MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTAND THE RISKS THEY’RE TAKING IN TERMS OF HAVING REPRESENTATION THEY SHARE WITH EACH OTHER AS WELL AS REPRESENTATION SHARED WITH WITNESS IN THE CASE OR WITNESSES AS IT MAY BE CONCERNED WITH UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. CONNELL: RIGHT. POTENTIAL LITIGATION BETWEEN LORI LAUGHLIN AND HER HUSBAND, AGAINST USC, THE SCHOOL WHERE THEIR DAUGHTERS ARE GOING. THAT IS POTENTIAL CONFLICT. THERE IS BIG PICTURE STORY REMAINS VERY INTERESTING, IS THE DECISION THEY MADE TO GO TO TRIAL. THEY’RE NOT ONLY ONES BUT PROBABLY MOST HIGH-PROFILE. FELL LYSSIE HUFFMAN CUT THE DEAL LOVE DAY TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE A PHOTOGRAPHER BACKPEDALING. AS THEY GO TO TRIAL, NOW THAT IS A HUGE RISK. BECAUSE YOU COULD HAVE CUT A DEAL, GOT OFF WITH A PRETTY MUCH A SLAP ON THE WRIST, RIGHT?>>WELL, YES, OBVIOUSLY THEY HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO GO TO TRIAL. WHAT WE ALL NEED TO KEEP IN MIND, EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE INDICTED, EVEN THOUGH THERE HAS BEEN SOME INFORMATION BEEN RELEASED IN TERMS OF WHAT THE GOVERNMENT EXPECTS TO BE ABLE TO PROVE THAT DOESN’T MEAN THE SAME THING AS EMBEING ABLE TO PROVE IT. CONNELL: RIGHT.>>SOMETIMES PLEADING ISN’T WORTH THE RISK IN TERMS OF MAYBE YOU KNOW WHAT THE PITFALLS ARE OF GOING TO TRIAL BUT IT IS WORTH OF RISK OF DOING IT BECAUSE THOSE PITFALLS ARE NOT ENOUGH THAT OUTWEIGH THE BENEFITS OF POTENTIALLY GOING TO TRIAL AND PREVAILING. SO WHILE A LOT OF PEOPLE DO PLEA AND WHILE THE GOVERNMENT CERTAINLY IS NOTORIOUS, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR CHERRY-PICKING THEIR CASES FOR PROSECUTION IN TERMS OF WHO THEY CHOOSE TO PROSECUTE OR NOT, THERE IS STILL TIME. LORI LAUGHLIN AND HER HUSBAND MAY STILL PLEA. CONNELL: THERE COULD BE A DEAL TO BE CUT?>>YEAH, ABSOLUTELY. RIGHT. CONNELL: THERE ARE 51 DEFENDANTS I BELIEVE.>>YES. CONNELL: IN THIS WHOLE SCANDAL, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT. 28 AS OF NOW WOULD GO TO TRIAL. THEY HAVEN’T CUT A DEAL. 23 HAVE. IT IS SPLIT. FAIRLY INTERESTING. WHAT CONVERSATION HAVE YOU SEEN IN THE PAST WITH CLIENT, DEFENDANTS THAT FIND THEMSELVES IN THAT TYPE AFTER DECISION? WHAT GOES INTO THE CALL?>>WHAT GOES INTO THE CALL AFTER THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDE WHAT IS CALLED DISCOVERY, IN OTHER WORDS, REPORTS AND INFORMATION ABOUT EVIDENCE THEY WOULD INTEND TO INTRODUCE AT TRIAL, YOU GO OVER ALL OF THAT WITH A LAW THAT WILL BE APPLIED, NOT THROUGH THE OPTICS IN TERMS OF PRACTICALLY, WHAT A JURY MIGHT THINK, LOOKING AT THIS EVIDENCE. NOT AS SIMPLE DOES THIS MEET LEGAL CRITERIA OR NOT. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO A JURY IN A BIG PICTURE SORT OF WAY. IT BECOMES ABOUT THE EVALUATION OF RISKS AN BENEFITS. CONNELL: RIGHT.>>THEN, THEN IT IS EACH CLIENT’S INDIVIDUAL DECISION. I CERTAINLY HAD CLIENTS, WHO I MIGHT BEGGING NOT TO PLEA BECAUSE I THINK THE CASE AGAINST THEM IS SO WEAK BUT IT IS THEIR DECISION. IF THEY WANT TO GO TO TRIAL, OR IF THEY WANT TO PLEA, ULTIMATELY AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS THEIR LIVES. THEY GET TO MAKE THAT DECISION ON THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL. CONNELL: WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE