A man fought for his right to practice law on Monday, after the e mails he sent triggered a massive NCAA Investigation that rocked the Ohio State football program.
The government said that Chris Cicero violated one of the most important cannons of the legal profession: to keep information about potential clients confidential.
Cicero said he met with Edward Rife in April 2010 to learn information about a client. During that meeting, Rife allegedly told Cicero that he had bought Ohio State memorabilia and traded them for tattoos.
Cicero, who said he never intended to represent Rife, sent an e mail to former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel telling him of the exchanges between Rife and certain Ohio State football players.
Rife said he met with Cicero after a federal drug raid of his Columbus home.
"He would take my case for $10,000 to retain him and that he would basically tell them to go screw themselves and would have my Ohio State memorabilia back by the end of the week," said Rife.
However, Cicero denied that he ever intended to represent Rife.
"I owed Ed Rife nothing," said Cicero in court on Monday.
Cicero's attorney said prospective clients are not offered the same protections as someone who actually hires an attorney.
Rife said Cicero let him down.
"I feel that anytime you speak with an attorney, especially about a case that it should be privileged information," said Rife. "They shouldn't go tell anybody about it," said Rife.
The prosecutor has recommended that Cicero lose his license for six months.
It is not yet known how soon the Ohio Supreme Court's Disciplinary Counsel will take to reach a decision.
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