Sunday, April 6, 2014

How not to practice law: post a video of your client buying drugs

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission recently recommended a five month suspension for a criminal defense lawyer after he posted a video of his client buying drugs on YouTube and then linked it to his Facebook page.  The attorney believed the video of the undercover drug sale would exonerate his client because he claimed it showed police planting drugs on the client. However, when viewed more carefully, it appeared the video actually showed the client purchasing drugs.  As a result, his client pled guilty and was sentenced to probation.

The Review Board found the attorney violated Rule 1.6(a) because he revealed information relating to the representation of a client without the informed consent of his client, Rule 1.4(a)(2) because he failed to reasonably consult with his client about the means by which the client’s objectives were to be accomplished and Rule 3.6(a) because he made extrajudicial statements that he knew or reasonably should have known would be disseminated by means of public communication and would pose a serious and imminent threat to the fairness of an adjudicative proceeding.

(h/t Legal Ethics in Motion)

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