United States v. Costen

CourtUnited States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
Citation38 F. 24
Decision Date14 January 1889
PartiesUNITED STATES v. COSTEN.

38 F. 24

UNITED STATES
v.
COSTEN.

United States Circuit Court, D. Colorado.

January 14, 1889


Hugh Butler and respondent pro se.

BREWER, J., (orally.)

This is a proceeding to disbar. The facts are these: The respondent was counsel for the complainant in certain litigation in this court. After acting as counsel for complainant awhile, he ceased to be thus employed, possibly by reason of a transfer of the interests on that side; and after he had ceased to act as counsel he proposes to the other side employment by it, and advises its counsel that he is in possession of facts of great importance to that side; he desires employment, but that the fact be concealed. Plainly, from the letters which he wrote, as plainly as language can express, he says to the other side: 'I have have acquired knowledge during my employment of facts of great importance. I am no longer employed by the complainant. I want to be employed by you, and I will put you in possession of these facts, though I do not want to be known as under your employment. ' The letters, whose writing is admitted, are attached to the charges presented by the committee. Now, it is the glory of our profession that its fidelity to its client can be depended on; that a man may safely go to a lawyer and converse with him upon his rights or supposed rights in any litigation with the absolute assurance that that lawyer's tongue is tied from ever disclosing it; and any lawyer who proves false to such an obligation, and betrays or seeks to betray and information or any facts that he has attained while employed on the one side, is guilty of the grossest breach of trust. I can tolerate a great many things that a lawyer may do,-- things that in and of themselves may perhaps be criticised or condemned when done in obedience to the interest or supposed interest of his own client, and when he is seeking simply to protect and uphold those interests. If he goes beyond, perhaps, the limits of propriety, I can tolerate and pass that by; but I cannot tolerate for a moment, neither can...

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22 practice notes
  • Clifton v. State, No. 12484.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • February 15, 1939
    ...P. 632; Gesellschaft Fur Drahtlose Tel. M.B.H. v. Brown, 64 App.D.C. 357, 78 F.2d 410; In re Boone, C.C., 83 F. 944; U. S. v. Costen, C.C., 38 F. 24; In re O----, 73 Wis. 602, 42 N.W. 221; Steeley v. State, 17 Okl.Cr. 252, 187 P. 821; Rakusen v. Ellis, Munday & Clarke (1912) 1 Ch. (Eng.......
  • Armstrong v. McAlpin, No. 745
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 20, 1980
    ...The court may order disqualification at any later time if subsequent events make it appropriate. Disbarment, see United States v. Costen, 38 F. 24 (C.C.D.Colo.1889), reversal, see United States v. Bishop, 90 F.2d 65 (6th Cir. 1937), injunctive protection, see United States v. Mahaney, 27 F.......
  • State v. Burnside, No. 13–0733.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • April 17, 2014
    ...non-existent. Any erosion of that confidence and trust threatens the very foundation of the legal profession. In United States v. Costen, 38 F. 24, 24 (C.C.D.Colo.1889), Justice Brewer stated Now, it is the glory of our profession that its fidelity to its client can be depended on; that a m......
  • Edwards v. Edwards, Case Number: 14128
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • November 25, 1924
    ...to the incompetency of an attorney to testify as a witness, without the consent of his client, where such relation exists. U.S. v. Costen, 38 F. 24; Sheehan v. Allen (Kan) 74 P. 245; State v. Snowden (Utah) 65 P. 479. But these authorities are without force in support of the objection here,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • Clifton v. State, No. 12484.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • February 15, 1939
    ...P. 632; Gesellschaft Fur Drahtlose Tel. M.B.H. v. Brown, 64 App.D.C. 357, 78 F.2d 410; In re Boone, C.C., 83 F. 944; U. S. v. Costen, C.C., 38 F. 24; In re O----, 73 Wis. 602, 42 N.W. 221; Steeley v. State, 17 Okl.Cr. 252, 187 P. 821; Rakusen v. Ellis, Munday & Clarke (1912) 1 Ch. (Eng.......
  • Armstrong v. McAlpin, No. 745
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 20, 1980
    ...The court may order disqualification at any later time if subsequent events make it appropriate. Disbarment, see United States v. Costen, 38 F. 24 (C.C.D.Colo.1889), reversal, see United States v. Bishop, 90 F.2d 65 (6th Cir. 1937), injunctive protection, see United States v. Mahaney, 27 F.......
  • State v. Burnside, No. 13–0733.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • April 17, 2014
    ...non-existent. Any erosion of that confidence and trust threatens the very foundation of the legal profession. In United States v. Costen, 38 F. 24, 24 (C.C.D.Colo.1889), Justice Brewer stated Now, it is the glory of our profession that its fidelity to its client can be depended on; that a m......
  • Edwards v. Edwards, Case Number: 14128
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • November 25, 1924
    ...to the incompetency of an attorney to testify as a witness, without the consent of his client, where such relation exists. U.S. v. Costen, 38 F. 24; Sheehan v. Allen (Kan) 74 P. 245; State v. Snowden (Utah) 65 P. 479. But these authorities are without force in support of the objection here,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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