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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Oversight of American Legal, Auditing Fiduciaries In Light of DOJ IG Findings

Contrasting [a] DOJ IG on NSL; [b] ABA Attorney Standards; and [c] AICPA Auditing Requirements on Legal Counsel Peer Reviews

The DOJ IG report on National Security Letters provides some interesting information, especially when contrasted with the American Bar Association (ABA)attorney standards of conduct; and standards of conduct governing auditors from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Their professional reputations are on the table. We the People know how to do ABA and AICPA audits using pen source information and make adverse inferences which Boards of Directors can be forced to confront.

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DoJ IG found that attorneys failed to adequately supervise legal programs. This failure raises questions about other things US Government legal counsel did not do, as required under the model rules, and forms the basis to expand audit scope agaisnt all US government staff counsel.

Those who refuse to cooperate with expanded inquiry can be adjudicated at teh state level to have not fully cooperated with inquiry into their Attorney Conduct. This refusal, resistance, delay, or obstruction of Congressional inquiry and fiduciary oversight can be adjudicated to be a basis to disbar staff counsel from ever working in the legal community. Ever.

The evidence from this inquiry can be used in war crimes proceedings, and in other forms to evaluate whether Government staff counsel have been adequately led, properly supervised, and whether they can or cannot be trusted to fully assert their oath and attorney standards of conduct. There may be new screening requirements in the bar examination, better peer reviews, and easier ways for the legal community to be disciplined for having failed to fully enforce the Geneva conventions and US Constitution.

This lesson applies horizontally to how the DoJ Staff counsel did or did not apply their ABA standards of conduct, and forms another basis to expand the Constellation inquiry.

Auditing US government contracted Attorney Training, Peer Reviews

One way to evaluate whether the US and state government officials are or are not doing their job is to what extent they are willing to take lessons learned to ensure the problems do not recur.

It is useful to examine these findings in light of auditing. Programs and ongoing activities that are not there that should be -- but are on audit checklists, or should be -- form the basis to examine to what extent civilian auditors for the US Government have been reckless in not fully asserting their oath, or conducting whitewash peer reviews.

Civilian legal counsel have insurgance to protect them from adverse results. If there were glaring problems with legal counsel should have detected when doing this performance review of US government staff counsel, but they ailed to detect that where they should, then civilian staff counsel are liable for the losses.

IN the case of Geneva and Article 82, it remains to be seen what specific legal findings outside counsel provided in memorandum to the US government, or whether they were reckless in not adequately conducting their audit as required under their contract. It remains to be seen whetgher the DOJ IG did an adequate review of these contracts; or whether the same contracting problems in DoD exist in the DoJ Small business area.

These results are important when considering the adequacy of contract oversight in DOJ. Other efforts, similarly "not effectively manged" can be back-traced to other management areas; then forward-traced to other programs under that management area. For example, in DoJ the same entities that contract for audits in DOJ also engage in contracting for translation.

The same contracting problems, oversight, and failed management in DoJ Staff counsel area are also evidence in the contract oversight of the Guantanamo translators, and the other legal services which Abraxas is alleged to have not fully done as reacquired.

These are not issues of only law and legal counsel recklessness, but issues of govennace as they apply to auditing. There are, or should be documents and working papers from the audits DOJ IG and civilian outside legal counsel have related to these audits. The prospector's trap, as applied to legal fiduciaries who are charged with doing this: Either

A. They knew of the problem, and did nothing; or

B. They were reckless in their audit, and are complicit with enabling war crimes, illegal activity, and not properly reporting to authorities glaring problems.

The lessons of the US Attorney firings are applicable. The issue becomes:

___ What rewards or punishments on legal counsel auditors were in place;

___ Where is the evidence that the White House and Members of Congress relaltated against legal counsel and auditors for they efforts to enforce the ABA standards of conduct or report, as required, illegal activity which violated the laws of war

___ What lessons of the US Attorney firings or promotions -- for their action or inaction in preventing, advocating, or not stopping illegal activity -- are in play and can be applied to the issue of civilian legal auditors of government staff counsel?

As you can see, given the size of the war crimes, number of DOj Staff counsel involved, and fatal admission that the president blocked DOJ OPR from reviewing these issues, the amount of evidence outside civilian legal counsel would have had to ignore is substantial. The size of the evidence pile, contrasted with the fiduciary duty of outside legal counsel to review these issues, combined with the GEneva requirements indicates that the recklessness with the legal services industry is substantial, material, and warrants high priority.

We the People have the job to oversee this oversight. As with the failures in the Securities Industry, the legal services industry and auditing community can be fully expected to make frivolous arguments. The lessons of the 1929 Stock Market Crash, and reluctance of auditors in the wake of the go-go securities industries frauds, indicates that the problem is real, formidable, but solvable.

We the People do have the basis to impose rules, fire auditors, and compel legal and auditing fiduciaries to rise to the occasion. Work with your boards of directors, make it known that unless this oversight problem is not addressed that you will make a stink about this at your annual shareholder meetings, and compel the Boards of Directors to meet their State licensing requirements. It is likely that the banks have ignored loan covenant requirements, and this is a problem that the capital markets will quickly solve on Monday.

What You Can Do

Please encourage your Member of Congress, especially those associated with the Judiciary Committee to review the DOJ IG report on NSLs in the context of Attorney Standards of Conduct. Ask them what plans they have to use their oversight authority to request the ABA legal scholars appear before the Committee to discuss the Attorney Standards of conduct, the patterns of behavior of the DOJ Staff counsel, and what remedies are reuqired in the American legal oversight and ABA Peer reviews to ensure future Government Staff counsel have adequate outside audits, reviews, and compelling CLE to ensure this does not happen again.

Also, discuss what role State Legislators and Members of Congress need to jointly take or facilitate through the State Disciplinary Boards to ensure US Federal Government staff counsel are appropriately, timely, and swiftly disciplined for their failure to fully assert their oath of office and meet the standards of the ABA.

As with the Securities Industry which regulates auditors at the state level, the US Govenrment can promulgate rules for the fiduciaries at the national level. It is appropriate to consider national standars of attorney conduct which both the states and federal govenment may enfroce to discipline, traing, and oversee staff counsel assigned to the US Government, but licensed to do business in the States.