He’s been in the thick of some of the highest-profile legal cases in the country – representing the likes of O.J. Simpson and Patty Hearst – but on Wednesday, Yarmouth resident F. Lee Bailey had this advice for any lawyer considering joining President Trump’s legal team: run, do not walk, away.

Bailey said he wouldn’t take on Donald Trump’s case because of the president’s well-known tendency to speak out on anything, even if it gets him in legal difficulty.

“I would never take on a client who follows his lawyer’s advice as little as he does,” Bailey said.

If Bailey were to get involved with Trump’s legal team, it would have to be as a consultant.

The famous criminal defense lawyer failed to get a law license in Maine after moving to the state in 2009 because the Maine Bar opposed his admission over large back taxes he still owed to the federal government. Bailey has set up shop as a consultant, and said Wednesday that he will be providing advanced training for trial lawyers at Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh this fall. He is also consulting for a Salt Lake City company that pays medical bills for people involved in personal injury lawsuits while their cases are pending.

Trump is facing legal challenges on several fronts. A special prosecutor has been investigating allegations that Russians helped the Trump presidential campaign in 2016 – an investigation that may broaden into Trump’s pre-presidential business dealings – and he is also facing allegations of affairs and controversial non-disclosure agreements with multiple women.


One of Trump’s top lawyers, John Dowd, quit last week, reportedly at least in part because of Trump’s tendency to ignore legal advice. The president announced that Dowd would be replaced by Joseph diGenova, who is a Fox News commentator and claims Trump is being framed by the FBI, and Victoria Toensing. However, both of those lawyers have since withdrawn, saying they have conflicts of interest with other clients.

Trump has been reportedly turned down by other lawyers in recent days, but his legal team said Wednesday that Andrew Ekonomou, a little-known member of an Atlanta law firm, would take on a larger role in the president’s defense.

Bailey said he hasn’t been approached by Trump’s team for advice or by other lawyers who are considering joining the president’s legal squad.

But Bailey said the president’s legal troubles seem to be growing and when that happens, lawyers can get ensnared in cover-ups and other problems.

He said he once had a client who ignored his legal advice and the relationship was short-lived.

“I just don’t put up with it,” he said. Trump “is just horribly inconsistent and doesn’t remember what story he told yesterday.”

But the president’s testy relationship with his lawyers could benefit Bailey in one way. He said he might touch on it next month when he’s scheduled to give a lecture on “how to handle troublesome clients.”

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:


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