Manziel’s lawyer accidentally texts case strategy to AP

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Johnny Manziel may need a new lawyer. The AP eventually may need a new lawyer, too.

To cap a week that has consisted of plenty of renewed discussion regarding the manner in which the prosecutors in the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial botched the case, Manziel’s lawyer committed a technological faux pas by sending a text message accidentally to the Associated Press. Lawyers representing the AP likewise may have made a tactical error by authorizing publication of a text message that wasn’t intended for the AP.

“Manziel’s lawyer accidentally texts AP, confirms he is seeking plea deal in assault case, worries about QB’s ability to stay clean,” the AP posted at its NFL page. To the extent anyone may wonder whether the Twitter account was hacked, the AP has published a stand-alone story confirming the accidental text.

The mistake happened after an AP reporter texted lawyer Bob Hinton, seeking comment regarding the recent hit-and-run involving a car owned by Manziel. Hinton responded with a text that said, among other things, “Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle.”

Per the report, Hinton’s accidental text also said he “was given a receipt by a colleague that purports to show Manziel spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia shop 15 hours after the crash.”

It’s not Hinton’s first miscue in the case. Colleague Jim Darnell previously had to walk back Hinton’s off-the-cuff remark that he’d prefer to see Manziel and the ex-girlfriend he allegedly assaulted “kiss and make up.”

Nothing contained in Hinton’s unintended sequel is shocking, given what we already know about Manziel. The broader question is whether the AP should have shared the information that was accidentally shared with the AP, legally or ethically. The lawyer clearly wasn’t “on the record” with the AP; it was an accidental message clearly not meant for the AP or any other news operation.

Some would say that Hinton’s text should have been regarded as an off-the-record communication not authorized for use by the AP or anyone else. If Manziel’s lawyer believes that, and depending on how the law specifically applies to situations like this, there could be a few more rounds until this unexpected skirmish is over.

69 responses to “Manziel’s lawyer accidentally texts case strategy to AP

  1. The reporter asked for a comment and he got an answer. I say accidentally or not its perfectly okay for the AP reporter ato post and or publish the information he got.

    Wait, I’m sorry, got carried away.

  3. What your comments in the post miss, is that the AP reporter texted the lawyer a question.

    The reporter got a response back. The lawyer can do his best to make a case “I sent this text to the wrong person”, but it’s not like the reporter engaged in shenanigans to INTERCEPT or steal information from someone.

  4. Forgot to add: this is likely why the AP’s lawyers said publication of the info passed legal muster. It wasn’t obtained under false pretenses or stolen.

  5. I think its time for Johnny’s Lawyer to Pee in a glass…..mistakes like this keep happening for a reason, I mean he is Johnny’s lawyer isn’t he?

  6. And this guy is surely charging hundreds of dollars per hour for his services. Maybe the only time in history a defendant would have been better off having a public defender. (They probably don’t earn enough to even have texting.)

  7. This sounds more like an arranged SNAFU. I’m betting the attorney is fed up with his client and wants out; while giving JFF another message that no one is willing to put up with his BS.

  8. Be honest. How many of you read the headline and thought “Why would Manziel’s attorney be texting Adrian Peterson? Was he AP’s lawyer too?”

    OK maybe just me.

  9. $1000 on drug paraphenalia? I guess he bought one of everything?

  10. Geez, Manziel’s idiocy rubs off on his lawyers as well.

    We’ll see if publishing it is a crime, nevertheless, if you give ANY information for WHATEVER reason to the press, you should expect it to be published.

    The lawyer willfully texted the information without checking he gave it to right person.

    Anyways, you could make a soap opera revolving around Johnny’s life. We can title it.

    As Johnny’s nose burns

  11. teal379 says:
    Jun 24, 2016 6:56 PM
    Apparently he couldn’t hire Lionel Hutz and got this guy instead?
    On the contrary.

    Would you really want to have to represent Manziel in some of the cases being brought against him. Talk about a clunker of a client

    This attorney has simply devised a cunning plan to be removed as Johnny Outta Footballs attorney.

  12. Johnny just needs some space, people should lay off him. Give him a chance to get himself together.

    Good luck in jail.

  13. nice o.j. comparison. some may forget that o.j. started out as a wife beater long before he was innocent of murder.

  14. Hinton has a pretty solid resume. That’s sad that he made such a poor mistake. At the end of the day, if Johnny F. had behaved better, he wouldn’t have needed a lawyer in the first place.

  15. Do people want to know what’s in that text?

    Does the AP have that information and are they an organization dedicated to the spread of information?

    Is the information going to get anyone killed?

    If the answers are yes, yes and no, then of course they should publish it.

  16. Hinton sent that text of his own free will; that he sent it to the wrong person is his own error; that the phone he texted it to belongs to a news organization is just crap luck ……

    The AP received a gold nugget from Manziel’s attorney, they did nothing illegal or immoral to get that text. They have no obligation to Manziel’s confidentiality.

    You don’t want something exposed to the media? Don’t SEND IT to the media.

  17. Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? No, but it’s ok?

  18. Not buying that it was an accident. It sounds like a desperate attempt to keep shaming Manziel into going to rehab. His parents are at their wits end. His true friends can’t reach him. His posse keeps enabling him and won’t let him reach rock bottom

  19. I’m pretty sure even “off the record” speech is legal to publish – it is only a courtesy not to publish it (and fosters good relationships and more access to information).

    As for this occurrence – and accidental text – don’t see any legal problems with publishing it either – again though, it would NOT foster good relations with the source. Best idea for the person – don’t publish – and tell the person that sent it. Might get you that “scoop” in the future.

  20. They should each wear t shirts with arrows pointing at each other and printed with the words “I’m with Stupid”!!!

  21. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God my Vikings took Teddy Bridgewater instead of Manziel in the draft. Manziel’s life has become a total trainwreck. He’s a sad parody of a pro athlete, and I’m guessing he’ll never, ever be in the NFL again. (What team would want him? He’s poison.) He was a head case in college and he’s even more of one today. Looks like Manziel would rather drink, drug, party, and beat up women than straighten out and be a success. I’d say he needs help but you can’t help people who don’t want to help themselves.

  22. Manziel is stupid and so is his lawyer.why wont the press and everybody just forget about him as he is not an NFL player and just an ordinary trouble plagued person.why does the press continually shove him down our throats by following his every move and writing about him.when he dies from his lifestyle only then should he be back in the news and thats for only one day.

  23. I give Manziel another three months. Once football season starts, and he realizes his career is over, so is he. There is high price to pay for hubris. Especially if you are an ugly, stupid redneck. Are you listening trump voters?

  24. Everyone reaches a point where you can’t defend stupid. Maybe Manziel’s lawyer has hit that wall. It reaches a point that the original lie told to defend what everyone knows happened ends up getting covered by the next lie to “excuse” the next bigger stupid thing…. And Johnny is making sensational screw ups one after another. No lawyer can keep coming up with more cover ups to deflect everything as circumstance. The lawyer might be doing this on purpose to try and get some control over what is happening with an unrestrained and out of control client. Even Manziel’s dad called Johnny an out of control druggie that needs to be in jail.

  25. If Manziel had no athletic ability, he would still be an arrogant, entitled Richie Rich druggie.

    We just wouldn’t know about him.

    The fact that he was a good college player but so far out of his league in the NFL may have hastened the fall, but didn’t create the problems.

  26. Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t think this was a mistake. The lawyer knows he is sick, his dad knows he is sick, and they can’t force him to get help.

    A judge, however, can make that happen.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think this could be a well laid plan….

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