Among the many lessons to be studied and learned from the Penn State sex scandal tragedy are lessons about how the justice system and its component parts operate under extreme, unanticipated stress. Even fundamentals like "who's the client" may suffer. A special report in The Patriot News says that when Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz testified before the grand jury in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse investigation on January 12, 2011, they both thought that Penn State's general counsel at the time, Cynthia Baldwin, was representing them. From the transcript:
(Curley) “Good morning, my name is Tim Curley.”
“Do you have counsel with you?”
“Yes I do. ... My counsel is Cynthia Baldwin."
(Schultz) “You are accompanied today by counsel, Cynthia Baldwin. Is that correct?”
“That is correct.”
Baldwin did not correct the statement, although when she was asked by the judge who she was representing she said "the university." Baldwin did not appear when Joe Paterno appeared; he was accompanied both by a lawyer and his son, who is also a lawyer.
D.C. lawyer Lanny Davis, hired by Penn State to address the overall scandal, says the situation concerning representation can all be explained by "the innocent reality of misunderstanding, stress and incomplete information."