The Penn State ugliness just keeps getting uglier. Last week, former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz filed a writ of summons indicating his intent to sue Penn State’s former general counsel Cynthia Baldwin for legal malpractice. The writ does not provide specifics about what Schultz’s allegations against Baldwin will be. But the allegations in the forthcoming lawsuit will probably go something like this: Schultz was called to testify before a grand jury in 2011. Baldwin was Schultz’ lawyer at the grand jury proceeding. Baldwin didn’t advise Schultz to invoke his 5th Amendment right, so Schultz testified. Baldwin herself later testified before a grand jury. She testified against Schultz, revealed client confidences, and basically told the grand jury that he lied under oath and that he covered up Jerry Sandusky’s serial sexual abuse of children. Schultz was charged with perjury and criminal conspiracy, among other crimes.
Baldwin has denied that she ever represented Schultz (or the other two administrators) individually. She says she only represented Penn State. These same attorney-client privilege and conflict of interest issues have already been raised – but not yet ruled upon – in the criminal cases. The issues are so critical and contentious that I suspect it will be a long time before they are resolved. Which unfortunately means it will be a long time before the victims and their families can learn what really happened behind the scenes at Penn State.