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In re Ryder

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
263 F. Supp. 360 (1967)


Agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified Charles Richard Cook as a suspect in the robbery of a Bank of Virginia branch office and seized $348 from his home. Cook called attorney Richard Ryder (defendant) for representation. Ryder spoke to the FBI and learned that the cash seized from Cook included bills known to have been stolen from the bank. Cook then told Ryder that he had taken up an offer from an unnamed individual to place a package in a bank box in exchange for $500. Ryder concluded that the FBI would eventually discover evidence of Cook’s guilt in the bank box. Ryder had Cook sign a power of attorney and rented a bank box in his own name. Ryder transferred the contents of Cook’s box, which included a bag of cash and a sawed-off shotgun. After Cook’s indictment on charges related to the robbery, FBI agents executed search warrants for both bank boxes. When the FBI discovered the sawed-off shotgun and stolen money in Ryder’s box, the district court suspended Ryder’s license to practice law, disqualified him as Cook’s attorney, and requested that the United States Attorney (plaintiff) file criminal charges. During disciplinary proceedings, Ryder testified that he believed the FBI would eventually discover the evidence if it were left in Cook’s bank box and stated that he took possession of the evidence in order to create an opportunity to argue for inadmissibility under the attorney-client privilege. Ryder also testified that he intended to hand the money over to authorities once he determined that doing so would have no negative consequences for Cook. A disciplinary order issued subsequent to Ryder’s hearing.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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