Sunday, March 4, 2018

How not to practice law: several updates

Here are a few new entries to the ongoing series "how not to practice law."

An attorney in Colorado got a three year suspension for lying to the court.  He claiming he had cancer in response to motions to show cause.  Story here.

A lawyer in Florida was disbarred for "obnoxious conduct." Apparently, the Florida Supreme Court has drawn a line in the sand: you can be “professional and aggressive” but not “obnoxious.” The conduct included loudly kicking a table and muttering “lie, lie, lie” during court proceedings, going on a "tirade" during a deposition and insulting opposing counsel. The case was reported here, herehere and here.

A Pennsylvania man has sued a Willig Williams & Davidson attorney representing his wife in a divorce proceeding alleging the attorney knocked him to the ground during a break in a hearing causing him permanent injury. The case is Charles Elliott v. Scott Orloff et al., case number 171201130, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.

In re: Encore Prop. Mgmt. of W. New York, LLC, Debtor., No. BR 18-20014-PRW, 2018 WL 941647, at *3 (Bankr. W.D.N.Y. Feb. 16, 2018) in which the court actually stated "A finer example of what not to do as a litigator would be hard to find."  (Thanks to Roy Simon for alerting me to these last two.)

A lawyer in Kentucky created a few fake bar associations so he could then claim his referral service was not in violation of a rule that limits referral services to those sanctioned by the Bar in the state.  You can find more on the story here, and here.  Is this unethical or a smart way to take advantage of a loophole?

And my favorite this month:  how not to practice law:  send a message to Bar officials telling them to go fuck themselves!  The Legal Profession Blog has the story here, which raises another interesting question in this case: whether the sanction was appropriate.  The lawyer was only issued a reprimand.  Should the sanction have been worse?

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