Carvana defense is right there: COVID

This article was originally published HERE


As the adage goes: “A person who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”

The article “Carvana executive faces criminal charges in Illinois” (, Sept. 26) is baffling. The title “general counsel” means Paul Breaux is an attorney. Anybody who has watched a TV cop show in the last 56 years knows the Miranda warnings: “Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.”

Breaux made an admission against his penal interests when he blamed Illinois as supposedly “anti-consumer” and pithily noted that Carvana “delivered a car to a customer’s home.”

The problem with that statement is it avoids responsibility and accountability — at worst, a falsehood; at best, arrogant. If the prosecution proves that one title or registration wasn’t delivered, he’s cooked. A good prosecutor will use that statement against him at trial. Foreseeably, a judge could increase his penalty at sentencing. He has “mocked the law, this court and Carvana customers, your Honor.”

A reasonable defense to title problems is to blame the pandemic. It’s common knowledge and a judge would take “judicial notice” of the havoc it unleashed.

The Illinois Secretary of State was closed or had employees working remotely on several occasions, disrupting normal operations since March 2020. Hardworking staff can only cover so much when colleagues are COVID-infected. Reasonably, titles and registrations were delayed.

LAWRENCE NECHELES, Pontiac, Ill. The writer is an attorney in the transportation industry.