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Criminal Justice

Lawyer Puts Photo of Client’s Leopard-Print Undies on Facebook; Murder Mistrial, Loss of Job Result

Posted Sep 13, 2012 4:19 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Fermin Recalde had sought several times without success to get a new assistant public defender assigned to represent him in his South Florida murder case.

But he ultimately succeeded Wednesday, midway through trial, after his public defender posted a photo of his leopard-print underwear on her personal Facebook page, the Miami Herald reports. The judge also declared a mistrial in the Miami-Dade case.

And that wasn't the only fallout: Recalde's attorney, Anya Cintron Stern, 31, was immediately fired, Public Defender Carlos Martinez told the newspaper, explaining that a client is entitled to loyalty and respect from his attorney.

Cintron Stern reportedly snapped the photo of the briefs as a corrections officer held them up for a quick inspection while going through a bag of clothing that Recalde's family had brought for him to wear at trial.

Although she posted it on a personal Facebook page, along with a caption about "proper attire for trial," someone who saw it notified Judge Leon Firtel, the article recounts.

Also of concern to the public defender's office, the newspaper reports, was an earlier Facebook posting by the assistant PD that seemingly called her client's innocence into question.

“When a lawyer broadcasts disparaging and humiliating words and pictures, it undermines the basic client relationship and it gives the appearance that he is not receiving a fair trial," Martinez said.

The Herald could not reach Cintron Stern for comment.

Hat tip: Daily Mail.

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