Law: And Nothing But the Truth

Should criminal lawyers defend clients they believe are lying?

It is the ethical nightmare dreaded most by criminal-defense attorneys, and it occurs all too often. A client wants to take the stand with a good alibi, but his lawyer strongly suspects the story is a fabrication. Should the attorney look the other way and let the testimony go forward? Miami Lawyer Ellis Rubin answered no, and last week his response landed him in the Dade County jail.

Rubin's troubles began last year after he volunteered to defend Russell Sanborn, 26, a plumber accused of fatally stabbing an 18-year-old woman. On the morning of the trial, with witnesses waiting and jury...

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