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Saturday's Letters to the Editor

Getting it backward

EDITOR: As a retired attorney, I'm baffled by the actions of Santa Rosa City Council and its city attorney and city manager (“SR council waives privilege on Lopez emails,” Wednesday). The attorney-client privilege is a tool that permits clients to confidentially communicate with their attorneys, and it is for the benefit of the client, not the attorney.

The client, not the attorney, has the right to waive the privilege. An attorney has no right to order a client to not waive the privilege, only to advise the client on the legal consequences of waiving the privilege. Attorneys serve their clients and work for them.

In Santa Rosa, it appears the power structure is reversed: the city attorney is in charge, telling her client what to do, and the City Council has rolled over.

Indeed, the city attorney is so confident she scolds and embarrasses her client in public. In the private sector, an attorney who did this would be fired on the spot.

The same problem exists with the city manager. She, too, acts as if the City Council works for her and she can order the members around. Since tax dollars are involved, elected representatives should be in charge, not their hired hands. Is there a non-sexist way to tell City Council to “man up”?

HUGH HELM

Santa Rosa

Shoot or be shot

EDITOR: Have you seen how realistic some “toys” are? Columbine, Sandy Hook and other massacres have prepared us as a country to expect a child to carry and use a weapon against innocents. The deputy requested that Andy Lopez put the gun down. He didn't. Given the history of deadly shootings by children, I'm sure the deputy felt he had no choice.

I feel sorry for the parents. I too, have lost a child. But Andy should not have had that toy and should have been taught to obey an officer of the law's orders.

I feel more sorry for the deputy. He will face persecution for the rest of his life. His reaction to Andy's non-compliance was fully justified. It was not race, neighborhood, ignorance, naivete or any other excuse. It was shoot or be shot. Put it down means put it down now.

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