Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Discipline for failing to correct client's affidavit when attorney finds out the client lied

The Legal Profession blog is reporting on a recent report and recommendation by the Illinois Review Board.  In a nutshell, the recommendation for sanctions is based on the fact that the attorney failed to take remedial measures once the attorney found out a client lied.  The client told the attorney he was a sole heir and based on that information the attorney filed an affidavit and some documents asking the client to be appointed as administrator of the estate.  At some point, however, the attorney realized the client had lied and that he was not the only heir.  The attorney, however, failed to correct the affidavit or to take other remedial measures regarding the client's perjury.

The notion of discipline for failing to take remedial measures regarding perjury is not surprising and I don't have a problem with the recommendation.  I wonder, however, if the Board cited the wrong rule in support of its decision.  It seems to base its recommendation on an alleged violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1) which imposes a duty to take remedial measures when an attorney comes to know the falsity of a fact the lawyer asserted.  In this case, the fact was asserted by the client.  

Read the full story here and here.