Monday, March 26, 2007

The Lure Of Publicity

An attorney was recently sanctioned as a result of disciplinary charges alleging that he had violated the duty of confidentiality. The lawyer had been retained by the mother of a murder victim. The daughter, Taylor Behl, was a student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her disappearence and the discovery of her body had been the subject of intense media coverage. The attorney met with the prosecuting attorney and learned non-public information about the case. Shortly thereafter, he was discharged. He then solicited and gave an interview to the Washington Times that resulted in disclosure of confidential information. The Virginia Bar filed charges based on the interview, which the former client had not consented to.

After the case had been tried before a three judge panel, an agreed disposition was reached that resulted in a non-suspensory sanction. (Mike Frisch)

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