Ethics Office Got Info on Kline Abortion Probe Unethically

State   |   Mary Kay Culp   |   Mar 1, 2011   |   1:13PM   |   Topeka, KS

Yesterday was day six of seven scheduled days aimed at convicting former Kansas AG Phill Kline of violating the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct. But it now looks as if the Kansas Supreme Court’s ‘ethical watchdogs’ (the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator, headed by Stanton Hazlett) used ‘evidence’ gained in clear violation of those very rules.

Last week, it was revealed that a compact disc of abortion-related data developed during the Kline administration somehow ended up with George Tiller’s legal team during AG Steve Six’s administration.  According to the ‘official’ story as explained on Friday,

Tiller’s attorney, Dan Monnat, ‘just found the disc laying on a courtroom table after a Nov. 2008 hearing in Wichita,’ and some time later turned this disc over to Hazlett’s office.

Today’s testimony from Terry Morgan, one of Hazlett’s investigators, indicated Dan Monnat engaged in no investigation as to the source of that compact disc.

It’s one thing to believe in Santa Claus, but attorneys can’t just take ‘gifts’.

Every attorney learns Rule 4.4, while yet in law school, that documents inadvertently delivered to them are subject to immediate return.  Faxes get sent to the wrong fax machine, deposition transcripts are delivered to the wrong address, email is sent to opposing counsel instead of co-counsel.  It happens.  And when it happens the wrongly sent documents are not supposed to be used against the interests of the sending party.

Monnat thus appears to have likely violated the Rules of Professionalism that are the responsibility of all attorneys in Kansas to maintain.

Kline is supposedly on trial, in part, because his employee—due to the tumultuous office arrangement when Kline took over rival Paul Morrison’s Johnson County office—was asked to store redacted abortion evidence in his apartment for a month, allegedly violating proper evidentiary procedures.

Yet the evidence to be used against Kline is a compact disc that ‘fell’ into Tiller’s attorneys’ hands and that then, months later, was transferred to the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator with no questions asked as to its source or chain of custody!

Thus, it appears Hazlett’s office also broke the ethical rules!

Powerful forces want Kline punished and to keep abortion businesses beyond the reach of criminal prosecution.

The discovery of this improperly-obtained disc and its use by both the abortion attorneys and the ethics office of the state Supreme Court raise many disturbing questions about supposedly ‘settled matters” of the last 6 years since the Alpha (abortion files) case ruling. Note:  Mary Kay Culp is the executive director of Kansans for Life, a statewide pro-life organization in Kansas.