When Coaching A Witness Goes Too Far…

A Rhode Island attorney, Gerard Donley, was sentenced to six years in prison in a case in which he was accused of participating in a conspiracy to bribe a witness so that he would not testify against Donley’s client. The scheme involved not only a monetary bribe, but also a witness coaching session. After quoting Donley’s coaching session from the wire tap recording, Superior Court Judge Robert Krause labeled the advice, “a playbook on how to lie without getting caught.”

Donley’s advice to the witness included statements such as, “you could be unsure of things … you know what I mean? So, it’s quite, it’s fine if you’re like, ‘Look it happened so fast I don’t remember.’ Or, ‘It could have been this way, could have been that. I’m not really sure who was there, who did it.’”

Moreover, the judge noted that the attorney’s actions were not a single occurrence, but were instead believed to be part of a pattern of repetitive obstructions of ethical standards.

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