Printed Letters: Sept. 9, 2015

Pugliese obligated to obey rules of conduct
Rose Pugliese’s legal problems may not end with two malpractice lawsuits and a possible violation of Colorado law regarding conflict of interest disclosure during a government hearing.

As a Colorado attorney, Pugliese must obey the Rules of Professional Conduct. The RPC offers lawyers extensive guidance to avoid conflicts. It appears from Sunday’s Sentinel story Pugliese drafted a will for a woman and when she died, a dispute arose among three daughters expecting property under the will. Then Pugliese represented two sisters, drafted an agreement and presented it to the third. All sisters claim Pugliese gave incorrect legal advice and are suing her. Was Pugliese representing the third sister? The third sister’s malpractice claim implies she thought so. What did Pugliese do, if anything, to make sure the third sister didn’t think she was a client?

RPC §1.7 states: “a lawyer may not represent multiple parties to a negotiation whose interests are fundamentally antagonistic….” Comment 28 states “[g]enerally, if the relationship between the parties has already assumed antagonism, the possibility that the clients’ interests can be adequately served by common representation is not very good.”

Colorado Bar Association Ethics Opinion 68 states: “A lawyer may not represent opposing parties in negotiations” unless they have previously and substantially agreed.

Most lawyers avoid such emotional situations like the plague. Multiparty representation is a minefield. Voting for a past client, one of the sisters suing Pugliese, in a government hearing, could also trigger an RPC ethics investigation.

The Supreme Court disciplines lawyers accused of ethics violations. There is no public information available whether the court’s disciplinary counsel has been informed or investigated Pugliese. Investigations are generally confidential unless discipline is ordered.

The particular facts of Pugliese’s possible conflicts are not clear. The question now is whether there is fire where there is smoke.

GENE GOFFIN
Glade Park


Kim Davis may be sincere, but she is hurting other people
Thank you for supporting our nation’s policy of the separation of church and state — otherwise referred to as religious freedom. You explained it well. Regardless of religious belief, an official of our country, state, county, or city, is obligated to fulfill the duties of that office. If there is a conflict, that official must make a choice that does not infringe on the rights of other citizens. Kim Davis may be sincere, but she is hurting other people.

JOANNE DRAKE
Fruita


It’s time for Christians to unite and fight for God-given rights
With no thanks to the Obama Administration, the U.S. Supreme Court, gays and lesbians, we are losing our rights as established by our Constitution.

The latest example is the case of Kim Davis; the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it is against her belief that God does not condone same-sex marriage.

She is absolutely right, and consequently she is jailed because of her spiritual beliefs. Religious freedom in this country is rapidly coming to an end just as it has in many other countries where Christians are being persecuted and killed.

But before all anti-God advocates rejoice over your so-called victories, keep in mind that God’s judgment is ultimately coming. Think on this: If you are right and God and Davis are wrong, then you have nothing to worry about; but, if God and Davis are right, then you have everything to worry about. You may rejoice now, but at Judgment you will beg for God’s mercy. As a Christian who has placed his faith in Jesus Christ, I think the time is coming that I will be prohibited for submitting a letter to The Daily Sentinel or mentioning anything about God in public. It is way past time for all Christians to unite and fight for our God-given and Constitutional rights.

GARY REEDER
Grand Junction


Will this country ever again see the light of day?
I read with interest, the recent article in your paper about the “more than three trillion trees now growing on Earth.” It gave perspective on just how much this country is in debt. If the 18 trillion-plus dollars we owe were trees, there would be more than six times the number of trees on Earth than there is now and three times more than there were before human civilization. With all that shade, will this country ever again see the light of day?

SUE C. HUGHEY
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Using religion to discriminate against others has never been a right, Mr. Reeder. It is, unfortunately, all too common nonetheless. You are not defending rights, you are advocating discrimination.

Yes sir Iles. Read any ISIS statistics lately?

Pugliese should be resigning NOW. This shouldn’t be a shock. Pugliese, Justman and what’s his name violated CO Open Meetings Law immediately after taking office. Re-election my donkey.

Mr. Sanders, Sorry, I though it was obvious I was referring to this country. I hope this clears up your misunderstanding.

Is that kind of like Muslim truck drivers refusing to haul alcohol and wanting consideration for “religious” reasons? How about hauling pork?

It is NEVER ever obvious. Loons yell, scream and dance with the wind. Kind of like puppets on a string. I did NOT misunderstand a thing.

It sure appeared so. Muslim truck drivers in the U.S. are not ISIS, unless you have some evidence to the contrary. Therefore bringing up ISIS is completely irrelevant to the point I was making, so you can certainly understand how it appeared you had misunderstood me. Or were you bringing up irrelevancies on purpose? That seems dishonest, which is worse than misunderstanding.

Honestly, what right does anyone lose when third party consenting adults you don’t know can get married?  Do you also lose your rights when other people can legally adopt children, open a business, build a house or get a drivers license? These acts also require government permitting to some extent.

Can you see how odd the conclusion is that other people should not be permitted to get married because of YOUR religious beliefs? It’s kind of like my telling you you aren’t allowed to pray because I’m an atheist.

When it comes to the issue of gay marriage, the contrast between Tuesday’s thoughtful Sentinel editorial (“The slippery slope of religious freedom”), Joanne Drake’s plaintive letter (“Kim Davis may be sincere, but she is hurting people”), and Gary Reeder’s tripe (“It’s time for Christians to unite and fight for God-given rights”) could not be starker or more revealing.

“[T]hanks to the Obama Administration [and] the U.S. Supreme Court”, the LGBT community has gained legal rights derived from our Constitution – but long denied by Leviticans and other “crackpot christians”.

Meanwhile, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) and state versions thereof have given even sincere-but-misguided
“believers” the right to profess their consciences within “the rule of law”. 

However, because public officials are properly expected to fulfill their oaths of office – solemnly sworn with a “so-help me God” and a hand on the Bible – the federal RFRA entirely exempts such public officials (whether appointed or elected) from its protections.

Thus, Kentucky’s Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was absolutely wrong to impose her peculiar “apostolic” version of Christianity on her fellow-citizens, to intimidate her staff into denying applicants their legal rights, and to deem herself the arbiter of “God’s law”.

Even if it were true that “religious freedom in this country is rapidly coming to an end”, its demise is being accelerated by the abuses to which both fellow-Christians and non-believers are being subjected by such know-it-alls who claim to be “holier than thou”.

Of course, in this country, when “good christians” kill abortion providers, they are prosecuted (not “persecuted”) and incarcerated (rarely “killed”).

Thus, it’s time for “true” Christians who actually follow Christ’s teachings to unite and disavow the heretical blasphemies and discriminatory prejudices of their pseudo-brethren.  “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

Hmmmm. Pretty sure it was Anne Landman who told us many years ago we couldn’t pray at city council meetings because she’s an atheist.

No, I said you couldn’t pray at City Council meetings in the name of a particular deity because it’s against the law. And it is.

Fact: Kim Davis is an elected official that took an oath to her electorate to follow the laws of Kentucky and the U.S. government.
Fact: Kim Davis failed to follow that oath
Fact: Kim Davis receives a base salary of $80K plus benefits from the taxpayers for a job she is NOT completing.
Fact: In any other “private” business, when an employee (minus the oath) is hired to do a specific job and that job is NOT completed as expected, the employer has grounds for firing.
If she were here, and not doing the job and taking MY taxpayer dollars on a work day, while she stands on a dais in ecstasy, I would be pushing for her resignation or start a petition to get her out of office.  I don’t care what “reasons” she has spewed…she is NOT DOING the job the TAXPAYERS are paying her to do.  We are seeing this in other forms here in Mesa County, with County Commissioners holding decision making meetings in groups closed to the public and not revealing conflicts of interests between county duty and professional duty. 
If we want open and honest government, we have to demand that, at all times, from all that serve the public, under all circumstances.  It is the law.

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