John Glancy, the chair of the Professional Ethics Committee for the State Bar of Texas, says his group has not received any requests for an ethical opinion from the defense attorneys acting as stand-by counsel for the admitted Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Hasan, whose trial, which is expected to test the military justice system, continues.
Why might Glancy have expected such a request? On Aug. 8, the military trial judge presiding in Hasan’s case told those defense lawyers to get a written document from the state bar establishing that continuing to work with Hasan would be an ethical violation if they wanted her to consider allowing them to withdraw, according to CNN.com.
The judge made that comment in response to one of the defense lawyers telling the judge that their continuing would cause “us to violate our professional ethics,” CNN.com reports. The defense lawyer, according to CNN.com, said his team believes Hasan, with his conduct is seeking the death penalty.
Of the three defense lawyers, only one, Major Joseph “Joe” Marcee, is listed as a member of the Texas bar. But Glancy says even if Hasan's stand-by lawyers do seek such an opinion, they are unlikely to get one from his committee because: “We don’t issue opinions as a practice in pending litigation matters.”
Glancy says he would not comment further about the potential ethical violation questions raised in the Fort Hood case because, “We act only by committee.”
— Miriam Rozen