Sunday, September 4, 2011

Discipline for conduct outside the practice of law

One of the first lessons I want my students to learn is that the disciplinary authorities can, and often do, discipline an attorney for conduct outside the practice of law.  There are many cases that can be used to illustrate this, and now we have a brand new one courtesy of the Illinois Hearing Board.  In this case, called In the Matter of Golden, the Board concluded that the attorney in question lied to his daughter's school so that she could get financial aid for which she did not qualify. He submitted financial aid applications which included false representations and fraudulently altered documents for three separate academic years. Even though the conduct was not within the practice of law and even though the attorney had no record of prior discipline, the Board found the conduct was so dishonest that the attorney should be disbarred.  You can read the opinion here.

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