Monday, April 16, 2018

The curious case of the lawyer who had no clients

Free legal representation for the rich — what a concept!
What are we to think of Michael Cohen? 

First he tells us, he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket for the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels regarding a certain bedroom tryst with Donald Trump.

Next Donald Trump tells us he has no knowledge of any such payment for omertà that Cohen may have arranged with Stormy.

Then along comes a raid on Cohen’s office, home, and temporary hotel residence — and whaddaya know? It turns out that another of Cohen’s clients is the Fox News commentator Sean Hannity. 

Then, according to the New York Times, Hannity declares, “Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter. I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees. I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.”

The Times burbles on, “In a follow-up tweet, Mr. Hannity added, ‘I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.’”

Third party? He couldn't mean a female third party, could he? Nah!

Then the name of yet another client emerges: Elliott Broidy, a former Republican fund raiser. The Times reports, “Last week, it came to light that Mr. Cohen had arranged for Mr. Broidy to pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy model, Shera Bechard, who became pregnant during an affair with Mr. Broidy. After the confidential deal became public, Mr. Broidy resigned from his post as a deputy finance chairman of the Republican Party.”

The same remarkable article tells us that Cohen insists he has only worked for ten clients since 2017, and for seven of those what he was providing was “strategic advice and business consulting.” Whatever that is.

Which left Cohen only three clients to represent on legal matters. Moreover, it would seem — although I'm the first to admit there's no proof I'm aware of — that those matters relate primarily to his clients’ inability to keep their pants zipped, and to the expensive consequences of said inability.

Except, as I’ve already mentioned, there are denials from clients Trump and Hannity that they ever paid Cohen for any such representation — even though there are also attempts to enforce confidentiality agreements for which, if I’m counting on my fingers correctly, Cohen paid out a combined total of $1,730,000 for which he was never reimbursed. Or at least $1,730,000 that we've heard about.

What a fabulous attorney! He takes no payment from his clients. They won't even acknowledge he represents them. But he generously pays out million of dollars in hush money from his own pocket on their behalf, fully expecting, I imagine, that his reward will be in heaven. 

No income, no clients, oodles of outgo. It’s a business model that I’ll bet millions of lawyers have never even guessed could be profitable.

I suspect that attorney Cohen has given the term “pro bono” a whole new meaning.


Bill said...

Consigliere comes to mind.

Gerald Parks said...

Soooo ... how does Cohen earn money?
We know he has a mortgage, because he qualified for a line of credit of which $130,000.00 was used to pay Stormy Daniels!
Follow the money!