Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How not to practice law: forge the judge's signature

The Legal Profession Blog is reporting today on a case out of Ohio in which a lawyer forged the signature of a judge on a draft judgment entry granting his client occupational driving privileges after the court had rejected the client's request. The lawyer claimed that he had signed the judge’s name on the rejected entry to show his client “what an approved occupational driving entry would look like” and then let the client keep the forged document.

In a 5-2 per curiam decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio found the lawyer's testimony “simply not believable” and concluded that the lawyer had engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice; and illegal conduct adversely reflecting on a lawyer’s honesty or trustworthiness.

Based on these facts, the Court suspended the lawyer for one year. Do you think that was too lenient?

The court's decision is linked here.

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