Robert Blake's Lawyer Wants To Quit

Actor Robert Blake, right, and his attorney Harland W. Braun talk during a pretrial hearing in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles is this Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2002, file photo. Braun resigned as Blake's attorney Monday, Oct. 28, 2002, saying that he objected to the actor's decision to go on television and discuss his case.
So now what?

Monday, Harland Braun said he was asking the judge on the Robert Blake murder case to let him quit as the actor's defense attorney, because the former "Baretta" and "Our Gang" star was going to do a TV interview - against his advice.

But authorities now say the jailhouse interview - which would have been taped Friday, with Diane Sawyer - won't be allowed.

"A televised interview of Robert Blake will not happen while he is in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department," said Sheriff Lee Baca, several hours after the dispute between Braun and Blake was made public.

Braun has represented Blake since his Blake's wife - Bonny Lee Bakley - was shot to death on May 4, 2001 shortly after the two ate at a local restaurant.

Monday, before the sheriff's office nixed Blake's plans to tell his story on camera, Braun told reporters that he had met with his client and expressed his opposition to the interview.

"He insists on doing an interview on camera with Diane Sawyer," Braun said. "I think it's insane for a person charged with a crime to go on camera to answer questions about the case. No lawyer in the country would allow a defendant to do this."

It is up to the judge presiding over the Blake case to decide whether to let Braun resign. Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen says Braun, in seeking to divorce himself from further dealings with Blake, is "simply following the rules that help govern the relationship between lawyer and client; rules that allow a lawyer to fire a client from time to time."

"The lawyer is right and the client is wrong and I'm not just saying that because I'm a lawyer, and not a client," adds Cohen. "No criminal defense attorney with even an ounce of sense would advise his client to go on television before trial, or tell his client that it's a good idea if the client suggested such a thing, or stand by and let it happen."