Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Art of Misconduct

There were an interesting set of facts that underpin a recent disciplinary case decided by the Oregon Supreme Court. The attorney represented a client in a commercial transaction in which the client received 23 Rodin bronze sculptures in a trade for three classic cars. The sculptures were delivered prior to the cars. Three were displayed in the lawyers law office as a  marketing tool and as informal security for the fee (apparently there was some concern about fee payment). When the transaction 455452_the_thinker_by_rodin broke down, the law firm sought and obtained a secured interest in the sculptures while the lawyer assured the other side that no such interests existed. The lawyer also falsely contended that the sculptures had been delivered to an art gallery as had been agreed in order to protect the interests of the opposing client. The court rejected the contention that the lawyer had engaged in no misconduct and ordered a one year suspension.  (Mike Frisch)

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