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Criminal Defense Attorney Caught Betraying Confidential Communications

Criminal defense attorneys often rely on each other for advice and support to offset the overwhelming power of government-sponsored, taxpayer-funded prosecution. One of the most sacred of criminal defense principles is that you never disclose a colleague's confidences regarding legal matters. It is simply unthinkable that a seasoned lawyer would go even further by betraying another lawyer's confidential communications deliberately and secretely to the prosecution. However, one San Antonio lawyer, Charles Bunk, has been doing just that. Regardless of Bunk's reasoning, he should be persona non grata among the legal community in Bexar County.

Apparently, Bunk has been taking emails from the SACDLA (San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association) listserve and providing them to prosecutors in the Bexar County District Attorney's Office. Bunk has admitted his conduct after Michael Hoyle, the felony head of the Bexar County DA, inadvertantly disclosed that he had access to the listserve, which is private and for the confidential use of local defense counsel. Bunk, of course, was the mole who gave Hoyle SACDLA's emails. However, this is not the first time Bunk disclosed email from the SACDLA listserve. For example, while representing Hilda Valadez, I posted a request for background information on the State's witnesses, including two prosecutors named as witnesses. My email from the listserve was given by Charles Bunk to Emily Angullo, now the misdemeanor head for the Bexar County District Attorney. As a result, I was repeatedly confronted in court by various prosecutors, including Angullo. The most recent betrayal also resulted in the attempted intimidation of a defense lawyer, Daniel Mehler. Hoyle used the information he learned from Bunk to file a "complaint" with SACDLA, criticizing Mehler for his confidential communication.

I can only speculate as to why Charles Bunk, a career prosecutor in Bexar County before leaving to practice privately, felt he should take emails from a restricted-access listserve in order to provide prosecutors with confidential work product of criminal defense attorneys. That's a massive violation of legal ethics. I assume Bunk betrayed us to curry favor with his former colleagues because he feels greater loyalty to them than he does to those of us who stand in the trenches with him. Or perhaps he needed favors to get good results on his cases. What I do know is criminal defense attorneys have a tradition of helping each other, trusting each other, and zealously fighting the power on behalf of our clients. Bunk has betrayed that tradition and our entire community. Criminal lawyers should ostracize Charles Bunk and exclude him utterly from our community. Every attorney in San Antonio should be aware that Charles Bunk is a traitor and a liar before working with him.

Ultimately, it appears that Charles Bunk was always more loyal to his friends in the DA's office than he was to his colleagues in the defense bar, attorney ethics, or justice. That's why real lawyers should feel obliged to shun Charles Bunk. His history, over years, proves that Bunk can only be trusted to serve himself.

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