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Legal Ethics

Ex-Navy Lawyer Who Gave Detainee Names to Legal Group Fights for His Law License

Posted Oct 25, 2012 8:20 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A former Navy lawyer who mailed a classified list of Guantanamo detainees to the Center for Constitutional Rights is fighting for his law license.

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments today on a recommended three-year suspension for Matthew Diaz, the Associated Press reports. The suspension would be retroactive to 2008, making Diaz eligible for reinstatement. Diaz’s lawyer, Jack Focht of Wichita, supports the recommendation.

Focht argues his client was torn between his duty to obey orders and his desire to make sure the detainees received legal representation, the story says. Focht says Diaz was already punished as a result of his court martial, Navy discharge and stint in prison.

Diaz mailed his list in a valentine to avoid suspicion, according to prior press coverage. The card had a big heart and a Chihuahua on its front, the AP story says.

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