The Fresno Bee reports on an interesting legal maneuver by federal prosecutors. Attorneys E. Marshall Hodgkins and Paul Goyette represent four ex-police officers, two of which, Plymale and Coleman, are defendants in a criminal matter based on civil rights violations and obstruction of justice.
As one would expect, the federal prosecutors were having a difficult time getting the defendants to turn against their fellow officers. All of the officers are represented by Hodgkins and Goyette; both of whom are no doubt aware their case is much stronger if no one testifies against any of the other defendants. The classic Prisoner's Dilemma for all you game theorists out there. But the Dilemma breaks down when you have a good attorney, and turns into a Nash Equilibrium when all decide to stay quiet at the behest of counsel.
The best option for the Feds is to restore the Prisoner's Dilemma; take the present attorneys out of the equation, and substitute attorneys who are no longer looking out for the best interests of the individual and the group, but instead looking out for the best interests of the individual only. That is the quickest path to a plea or conviction.
So that is exactly what the Feds are doing - filing papers to disqualify Hodgkins and Goyette. Only time will tell whether it worked. But I must say, its good use of economics, even though the Feds probably did not realize it.