Sunday, November 27, 2011

How not to practice law update

Here are the links to the "how not to practice law list" so far.  As you can see, these are examples of incredible but true stories of conduct that is so basic you'd think anyone would know that what they are doing is improper.  Nothing complicated here. In many of the cases, you can say the conduct is simply just plain stupid...  The list would be funny, if it weren't for the fact that it is a serious problem that there are so many lawyers out there getting in trouble for these kinds of things.... Each item is a link to its own post/story.

have sex with client, then charge her for your services

help your boyfriend escape from prison, wait a couple of hours, then post a photo of the two of you on Facebook

on appeal, prepare a lousy brief that does not support your arguments

beat up your client with a baseball bat

steal money from clients, then "in your defense" argue you needed the money

bring your recreational drugs to court, then drop them in front of police officer

post photos of your client's undies on Facebook and make fun of your client and his family in the process

do everything wrong when leaving your firm

video: how not to conduct a hearing (follow up on that story, here)

if you are a judge, preside over the bond hearing of the person accused of a crime against you

if you are a judge, let your clerks decide your cases while you are on vacation

misrepresent your assets in a bankruptcy application (even though you are wearing them in public)  (or hide your assets in a bankruptcy case)

don't pay taxes (particularly if you are a former IRS attorney and a tax lawyer)

don't take depositions seriously

if you are a judge, try to establish inappropriate personal relationship with attorney who appears before you

stop paying child support

use your client's money to pay gambling debts

pull a gun on a process server when he is trying to hand you some papers

lie during the disciplinary process to cover up your mistakes (more recently, here)

try to cheat on the bar exam

host a website with nudity and profanity and then go ahead and post statements that suggest you are a drug user

claim you forgot your client was your client in order to avoid correcting your client's perjured testimony during discovery

allow your client to be convicted even though he was in prison at the time of the crime

double bill the court

prepare a will for the client in which the client names you or your wife as the beneficiary

write incomprehensible complaints and briefs

slap the witness in the face during a deposition

bring drugs with you when you visit clients in prison

use client's money to shop at Walmart and then claim misconduct is due to "poor bookkeeping"

represent buyer and seller in a transaction, then represent one of them against the other after transaction is done

show the jury the evidence the judge had excluded

have your spouse lend money to client

don't pay attention to the details

inflate your bills

start to practice law before you are admitted to the bar

abuse your power as a prosecutor by offering leniency in exchange for sex with defendants or their mothers

don't pay your student loans

offer to help law students cheat

claim that everything is confidential

charge a fee for doing nothing

try to help your client by breaking the law

advertise you have "associates" when, in fact, you don't

tell the jury you think your client is guilty

pretend to be a doctor  (more recently here)

try to influence the judge

show up drunk, (same problem, more recently here)

have sex with clients while visiting them in prison (a similar, more recent case here)

sell the defendant's property

be a pimp

charge $3,500 an hour AND be rude to the judge


break the law and obstruct justice

tell your divorce client's wife you want to go out with her

have sex with client's wife

continue to practice during your suspension (same problem, more recently here)

make sure you tell the jury the information the judge had excluded

pay your employees "under the table"

ask client to pay fees with drugs (same, more recent case here)

insult the judge (preferably in writing)

write a bad brief

don't ever read anything before publishing it in the press (if you are lucky it will have a racist statement in it)

if you make a mistake, lie to cover it up

pay your bar dues with a check from your client's account

convince clients to give you title of their house so they avoid foreclosure, then get them evicted

let the client dictate (bad) strategy

ask client to pay fees with sex

park in the handicapped parking spot


get married when you are already married (same problem, more recently here and here)

show up to court drunk

have affair with married woman, then agree to represent her husband in divorce

when interviewing an applicant for a secretary position tell her that having sex with you is part of the job

try to recover expenses from your client after you agreed not to do it

provide the wrong citation to key cases so the judge goes nuts trying to find them

try to blackmail your opponents to get what you want

lie to the judge

take more work than you can handle

lie to the disciplinary committee

forge the judge's signature

ask for stolen property as payment for your services

rob a bank

be rude to the judge's clerk

don't proofread anything before you file it in court

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