Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Missouri public defender Patty Poe develops a case of lockjaw when asked to identify her lawyer "friend" who helped make determinations about Carol's case

Patty Poe
When we left Missouri public defender Patty Poe, she was huffily telling Carol and me about the stringent nature of her legal education at the University of Missouri School of Law, while admitting her research skills were so limited she had to consult an unnamed "friend" for help with fundamental issues in Carol's case.

For some reason, Carol and I were alarmed that an unknown third party was helping make determinations about Carol's defense in a criminal case, which at that time, still carried the possibility of jail time. We also were concerned about the possibility that Carol's attorney-confidentiality rights had been violated.

With that in mind, Carol sent Poe an email, asking about a couple of issues -- including the status of Poe's mysterious "friend" and the role he or she was playing in Carol's case:


This is Carol. I need to check with you on a couple of things:

(1) I need copies of what little discovery has been produced in my case. If my memory is correct, the state has produced the following items:

a. Photos taken by Dep. Scott Harrison of my broken arm and other injuries;

b. Copy of 911 call from Burrell Health;

c. Photos taken of the back seat of the patrol car in which I was transported.

I need these items -- and any other discovery that has been produced-- ASAP. You are welcome to mail them, or I can stop by your office to pick them up.

(2) In our final in-person meeting, you mentioned that you had consulted a lawyer friend of yours, someone who was knowledgeable about tenant-landlord law, regarding my case. As I understand it, this person was helping make decisions about my case, and I don't even know who he is. Further, I'm concerned that this could have been a breach of my attorney-client confidentiality. I don't understand why you would deem it appropriate to consult someone else about my case, especially without my permission and without identifying this person. Aside from those concerns, I need that person's identity now. Please list the name, location, and contact information for this person in response to this email.

Thank you,

Poe's response was short and . . . well, short:

Hi Carol:

I closed your file, you may stop by the office and ask for a copy of it, all discovery will be contained therein.

In reference to my friend I consulted, I didn't disclose your name or any specific facts that would identify you as an individual. I simply asked her a couple questions regarding evictions as a whole -- nothing specific to your case.

Good luck!


Well, what do you know? There is the "good luck" Poe could not seem to manage on the day she bailed on Carol and left the courtroom in a rush, even before the hearing was over. You will notice -- Carol certainly did -- that Poe left a key questioned unanswered. So Carol sent this follow-up:


I will pick up the file and discovery, etc.

I do, however, need to know your friend's name, location, contact info, affiliation (law firm), etc. You cited the information she provided as grounds for your opinion that the eviction was lawful -- when, in fact, it was not lawful. Her statements most certainly did have an impact on my case, and I want to know who she is. I have a right to know who she is.


How did that sit with Poe? Well, it's hard to tell because she has yet to respond. Poe apparently thinks it's OK for a third-party lawyer to provide input on Carol's case, but Carol does not have a right to know that person's identity.

Carol and I suspect that does not square with Missouri ethics rules. We also have this question: If the third-party lawyer's impact was so benign, why does Poe have a problem identifying her?

Since Poe seems to have developed a case of lockjaw, perhaps Carol will need to take it up with a judge, the Missouri Bar Association, or some appropriate authority.

It was our understanding, that Carol's representation was under the auspices of Patty Poe and the Missouri public defender's office. If it was affected by someone other than Patty Poe -- someone apparently not affiliated with the PD office -- Carol wants to know who that was. And we are quite sure she has that right.


Anonymous said...

You do not have a right to know who Poe consulted. And Poe is definitely smart for protecting her friend from your certain future dumpster diving.

Anonymous said...

If you're so sure she has the right, cite the law. Or can you?

Anonymous said...

Poe doesn't want to identify her lawyer "friend" because she doesn't want you and Carol to know. Pretty simple. Also, pretty smelly.

Anonymous said...

More signs of deception from "officialdom" in Carol's case.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked that Poe admitted talking to a lawyer "friend." When confronted with it, I figured she would deny having said that to you. Obviously, she did say it.

Anonymous said...

Did Poe tell Carol in advance that she was going to check with a lawyer friend about certain issues in the case?

legalschnauzer said...

No, she just said she disagreed with case law and arguments Carol had made in her pro se motion, so therefore, Poe was not going to bring them before the judge. Poe never gave any valid grounds for disagreeing with Carol's motions -- and she can't because they are accurate and on point. The attorney friend appeared out of thin air as a way to "prove" Carol's motions are off target. In fact, they could not be more on target, so this essentially was Poe's way of defrauding her own client and costing us about 5-6 months of our time.

Anonymous said...

Poe claims her communications with the friend were low key and not meaningful. Well, why not disclose the friend's name? Can't think of a reason not to, unless the friend and Poe were not acting in Carol's best interests.

legalschnauzer said...

@8:25 --

Exactly. That's the thing that bothers us most. It reeks of deceit, and I don't think anyone can make a serious argument that Carol has a right to know who this person is.

Anonymous said...

What law did Poe violate?

Anonymous said...

I can make a serious argument she had no right to know who that person is.

It is irrelevant. If you don't like the opinion you are free to discard it or find an attorney who will argue otherwise.

It is never an ethical violation for an attorney to discuss general points of law or procedure with others, even if they have an opinion contrary to yours.

If you are dissatisfied with your counsel, fire them You aren't entitled to any paid for by the state, at this point - and she managed to get jail time off the table.

Anonymous said...

good lord. quit bullying this young woman and move on.

Anonymous said...

Just saw on facebook that Davey Hay and Pattie Poe have begun dating.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:22 --

Does the post say Poe violated a law? She might have violated an ethics rule, but I'm not sure there is one directly on point in Missouri. Still looking at that.

Can you think of a reason why she wouldn't identify this person to her own client?

Anonymous said...

Can you think of a reason why she wouldn't identify this person to her own client?

I can. Because if she identified this person, her client and her client's spouse would launch another in a decades-long series of vitriolic attacks against someone who told them something they didn't want to hear.

Eventually there will no one left on earth who is interested in helping you.

legalschnauzer said...

@7:00 --

This kind of thing is covered, at least in general, under the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct: https://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/mo/code/MO_CODE.HTM

Under "Communication," there is this:

Rule 1.4 Communication
(a) A lawyer shall:

(1) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter;

(2) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and

My comment: Carol made a reasonable request for information, and this suggests Poe had a duty to provide it.

Under "Confidentiality of Information," there is this:

Rule 1.6 Confidentiality of Information
(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation, or the disclosure is permitted by Rule 4-1.6(b).

My comment: Poe admits that she revealed information relating to the representation of a client, without any consent from Carol. There is nothing in the rule that says Poe is let off he hook because she supposedly did not provide Carol's name.

If you are so certain Carol had no right to such information, cite the law. Or can you?

legalschnauzer said...

@9:27 --

You seem to be late to the party. Poe already has bailed out on the case, so it's not a matter of Carol firing her. As for relevant ethical rules on this issue, I suggest you review my answer @12:45 above.

Anonymous said...

LS 12:18. Yes. Because then you'd try to dig up dirt on the attorney and smear them like you do everyone else.

legalschnauzer said...

@6:58 --

First, you know this how? My guess is you don't know it at all. If you are interested in actual ethical rules, you can check my answer @12:45.

Second, it's about Carol's right to know this information, not mine. Carol is the party in the case, not me.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:38 and @12:47 --

Hah, you aren't even creative trolls. Just relying on the same tired crap trolls have relied on here for years, without a single shred of evidence to support your claims.

I like to publish trollish comments like yours, at times, just so intelligent readers can see the lengths trolls will go to spread bogus information and to avoid accountability for their brain-dead remarks.

That's why trolls keep turning to this one "card trick" they have. They can't come up with anything else, and it's a real bad "card trick."

Anonymous said...

If Poe checked with someone who really is an expert on tenant/landlord law, you'd think she would be proud to tell Carol who she consulted. It would reflect well on Poe that she checked with a recognized expert on the subject; hell, I would shout it from the rooftops.

That Poe doesn't share the info tells me she's not proud of what she's done, she knows she's done wrong, and the person she consulted is no expert at all -- and probably has a vested interest in Carol's case.

Anonymous said...

Given the weak-ass nature of the troll comments, Carol's position must be mighty solid. Trolls ought to at least be marginally interesting. These cretins don't come close to that.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Patty Poe, like a lot of lawyers, went to law school just to pass the bar and get a title. If she's not capable of conducting her own research on a fairly straightforward subject, she must not have learned much in law school.

Anonymous said...

I'll repeat, and I think you can take it to the bank: Poe "consulted" someone from the Lowther law firm, the bunch that represents the landlord who unlawfully threw you and Carol on the street.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:55 --

Journalism is bullying in your world? You must live in a strange world.

Do you consider filing of false criminal charges against someone, when you broke the person's arm, to be bullying? But you don't care about that, do you?

Anonymous said...

It's very obvious to a semi-intelligent being that Patty Poe was pulling a con game on Carol. This idiot commenter above who claims you are "bullying" Ms. Poe? What a joke. Poe is being paid with taxpayer dollars and has a duty to act with integrity toward the public. She has failed on pretty much every level.

You should be commended not only for sticking up for your wife, but for reporting on a broken public defender system that allows incompetent and ethically challenged lawyers prey on individuals who already have been victimized once.

Ms. Poe should be ashamed of herself.

Anonymous said...

No reason for Patty Poe not to identify the "expert consult" if she actually was acting in her client's best interests. No reason to suggest the consult to Carol beforehand and get Carol's approval. Again, if Poe was acting in Carol's best interests.

The ethics rules say that's how it should be done, and common sense says that's how it should be done.

Poe didn't do it that way, so I can only conclude she wasn't acting in Carol's best interests.

Anonymous said...

If this had been on the up and up, Poe would have said, "Carol, I have a fried who handles a lot of landlord/tenant cases, and she can give us the straight dope on any questions you might have regarding that part of your case.

"Why don't you go with me, and we'll both come away with a better understanding of how the law -- and the actions of the landlord and cops in your case -- affect your defense. Heck, you can even invite that pesky husband/blogger of yours along. We'll have a four-way meeting and come up away with clear minds on these issues. After all, you correctly note they are important to whether any evidence was lawfully gathered in your case. So we need to make sure we understand this."

Anonymous said...

A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent . . . "

This language is real clear. A lawyer should not reveal any information relating to the representation of the client, without the client's "informed consent."

As I understand it, Poe didn't try to get Carol's consent at all -- informed or otherwise. The violation of ethics rules could not be more obvious, regardless of games the trolls try to play.

Anonymous said...

If Poe's intellectual capacity is so limited that she can't do legal research, she really should become a short-order cook at Denny's.

Anonymous said...

Poe's actions are an embarrassment to the legal professions -- and they suggest she has no business being in the legal profession.

Anonymous said...

Seems you have several readers who enjoy trying to defend the indefensible. That's what they are doing with Patty Poe. Two questions:

(1) Don't they have something better to do with their lives?

(2) If they insist on pursuing this hobby, they need to get better at it. Right now, they suck -- bigly. They don't realize how shameless they sound?

legalschnauzer said...

@5:24 --

My guess is that quite a few of the trolls work in and around law enforcement. That's why their "literary efforts" sound so ridiculous -- void of thought, analysis, anything useful.