Friday, March 11, 2016

Rebecca Bradley: 'Extramarital Affair,' NO ETHICAL VIOLATION

I have never regretted cancelling our subscription to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about nine years ago.

I do, however, regret that I had but one subscription to cancel.

The recent coverage of Rebecca Bradley by the Journal Sentinel reads more like opposition research from her political opponent rather than coverage from a balanced, respectable news outlet.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel continues its shameful smear crusade against Rebecca Bradley, solidifying the fact that the Journal Sentinel is a Leftist rag.

As a private attorney, Rebecca Bradley represented in a child placement case the former chief operating officer of the law firm where both had previously worked — and with whom she acknowledged having had an extramarital affair, according to court records.

At the time, the ex-wife of J. Andrew Bednall objected to Bradley's representation based on her relationship with Bednall, the records show. The court-appointed attorney overseeing the interests of Bednall's son in the 2005 placement case agreed with those concerns.

Bradley, now a state Supreme Court justice and candidate for a full term, responded in a January 2005 affidavit that she could remain on the case.

"At one time I had a romantic relationship with (Bednall), which we both believed might result in marriage. We broke off that relationship in November 2002, although we have continued to date on a nonexclusive basis since that time," wrote Bradley, who was divorced in 2004.

A judge rejected the attempt to bump her on ethical grounds, according to the public filings.

Online court records indicate that it would have been unusual for Bradley to appear in a Wisconsin court as an attorney in a family law case.

Gov. Scott Walker named her to the state Supreme Court in October, marking the third time he had given her a judicial appointment in as many years.

The circumstances of the child placement case are surfacing amid Bradley's campaign for a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court against Appeals Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg. The election is April 5. The court is responsible for policing the professional conduct rules of attorneys, and much of the justices' time is spent on determining whether lawyers treated their clients appropriately.

The matter raises questions about the vetting process used by Walker, who has acknowledged he was unaware of college newspaper writings by Bradley in which she condemned "queers" and addicts for essentially killing themselves through their conduct. In a letter to the editor, she wrote: "Heterosexual sex is very healthy in a loving marital relationship. Homosexual sex, however, kills."

In a column about Bill Clinton winning the 1992 presidential election, she called voters either stupid or evil for electing "a tree-hugging, baby-killing, pot-smoking, flag-burning, queer-loving, draft-dodging, bull-spouting '60s radical socialist adulterer to the highest office in our nation."

"Either you condone drug use, homosexuality, AIDs-producing sex, adultery and murder, and are therefore a bad person, or you don't know that he supports abortion on demand and socialism, which means you are dumb. Have I offended anyone? Good — some of you really need to wake up."

On Wednesday, Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for Walker, said the governor also had not been aware of the court documents on Bradley's representation of Bednall, who worked as COO and later as chief financial officer at the Milwaukee firm Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek.

Bradley's current attorney, Dan Kelly, said there had been no reason to alert Walker.

"Is this the sort of thing you would bring to the attention of the governor?" Kelly said. "Of course not, this is a nonevent....This is a nothing."

Bradley, when asked about the case, cut off a brief interview.

"I'm not sure what you're talking about or what you're trying to do to me," she said. "There were motions filed in that case and the judge dismissed them and that's all I have to say. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel should be ashamed of itself and you can put that on the record."
Absolute trash.

This is framed as a scandalous, extramarital affair, even though Bradley was separated from her husband at the time of her relationship with Bednall.

...In September 2004, Bradley began representing Bednall in an ongoing child placement dispute with Bednall's ex-wife, Laura Bednall. The case was in Waukesha County Circuit Court, with Judge Michael O. Bohren presiding.

The ex-wife in January 2005 sought to have Bradley removed from the case because of her relationship with Bednall and contacts with his son, in particular, who was then 16. Michael J. Finn, the attorney serving as a guardian ad litem for Bednall's son, supported that request, saying in an affidavit that Bradley was close enough to the son to have exchanged Christmas gifts with him.

"The extent of her friendship (with Bednall) and the involvement of her relationship with the children vis-à-vis the 'friendship' would ethically preclude her ability to be advocate counsel for Mr. Bednall in this matter," Finn wrote.

Bradley responded with her January 2005 affidavit in which she said she had known Bednall for more than four years, going back to a time when Bradley was still married and Bednall was not.

Bradley and her husband, Gordon Bradley, jointly filed for divorce in April 2004, and it was finalized in October 2004. Kelly and Gordon Bradley both said Thursday the couple was living in separate residences at the time of her relationship with Bednall.

Bradley said in her affidavit that she saw no conflict of interest in taking the case. Still, Bradley said, she raised that possibility with Bednall, who waived any potential conflict. She said she saw Bednall's son at school events, at social occasions and on Christmas Eve in 2004, but never discussed placement issues with the boy.

"(The ex-wife's) motion is brought merely for the purpose of embarrassing Ms. Bradley, harassing (Bednall), and obtaining a delay in the trial," Bradley's attorney at the time, Randal N. Arnold, wrote in a filing.

Bohren rejected the attempt to remove Bradley, but did not go along with her request that the other side pay her costs for hiring Arnold to defend her right to remain on the case. Bohren's written order had no commentary.

On Feb. 16, 2005, nine days after Bohren's order, Bednall and his ex-wife told the court that they had reached an agreement to resolve their differences in the placement case.
There's nothing to see here, but the Journal Sentinel won't let up.
...Supreme Court justices enforce Wisconsin's attorney code of conduct, which says that lawyers cannot start a sexual relationship with an existing client but may represent a client if a sexual relationship already existed. Bradley's affidavit describes the relationship as having been "romantic" at one time, and dating "on a nonexclusive basis" by the time of the custody case. Bradley's lawyer could not say whether the relationship had ever been sexual.

He stressed Thursday there was no ethical violation.

"This is a closed question. A court has looked at it," Kelly said. "It is not in dispute."

Stephen Gillers, an expert on legal ethics at New York University School of Law, said lawyers can represent someone with whom they have a romantic relationship as long as it began before they had an attorney-client relationship.

"If the intimate relationship predates the professional one, there is no ethical prohibition," Gillers said by email. "...A conscientious lawyer, knowing the risks when your client is also your lover, nevertheless could choose to accept the representation."

Again, NOTHING TO SEE HERE, other than a truly disgraceful hit job by the Journal Sentinel.


Read Gordon Bradley's statement.


jimspice said...

Pretty sure separated is not the same as divorced. Especially in the eyes of the Church, which Bradley claims to be a devout member of. If adultery is bad, it's bad regardless of party. If I can say Clinton was a skeeze, why can't you admit Bradley is.

Mary said...

Bradley's marriage was over. Apparently, there was no deception or betrayal. That does matter. Listen to her former husband.

Bill Clinton was unfaithful to Hillary - repeatedly. There was deception and betrayal. He and Hillary weren't separated and on a divorce path when he was catting around.

Anyway, since you're willing to compartmentalize Bill and Hillary's past, why not do the same for Bradley?

Proud of the Journal Sentinel's War on Women?

jimspice said...

I'm not sure whether you're grounding your argument in legal or religious authority, but in either case, she was still married so it's still adultery. Or are you offering a new standard?

jimspice said...

RE: compartmentalizing the Clintons' past? I said he was a skeeze. Why can't you say Bradley's a skeeze?

Mary said...

Since when did you become such a prude? When did you start caring about religious authority, let alone God? (I apologize if I'm confusing you with someone else, but I seem to remember that you are not a believer.)

In terms of Bradley's Catholic faith, we do have this thing called the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We're all sinners and in need of forgiveness. But you go ahead and cast those stones if you wish.

In terms of our current social mores, it's quite a stretch that you want to force Bradley to wear a scarlet letter because of this.

Was Bradley's divorce finalized at the time of her relationship? No. But as her husband explains, this wasn't an extramarital affair in his view, a very interested party. When the marriage is over, it's over.

I think it's completely unfair for you to suggest that Bradley is in the same league as "skeeze" Clinton. Seriously?

If the label is that important to you, and you insist on calling Bradley an adulterer, you do that.