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Ouch!

Alan Dershowitz (WSJ, $) on Martha Stewart's defense attorneys:

...virtually every action for which Ms. Stewart was convicted took place after she had consulted with highly experienced and expensive lawyers. As legal ethics expert Stephen Gillers wrote before the trial in The American Lawyer, "defendants ordinarily retain lawyers after they commit their alleged crimes. In contrast, all the crimes charged against Stewart were allegedly committed while she was receiving the advice of excellent defense lawyers at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz -- one of the nation's best law firms. Three times, in fact, the indictment's chronology refers gratuitously to Stewart's lawyers [though not by name]."

The job of these lawyers was to keep their client out of any further legal difficulties. In doing this job, no lawyer should ever accept a client's initial account, especially if it is not corroborated by hard evidence. As Mr. Gillers correctly observed, every lawyer knows that "many clients lie even when they have nothing to hide." Even if the lawyer believes his client is being truthful, he should not allow the client to relate an uncorroborated account to law enforcement officials, unless the lawyer is absolutely certain that the account will not be subject to challenge by the government.

Perhaps another mistake to add to the list.