Friday, June 29, 2007

Threats Merit Sanction

A Michigan attorney was reprimanded for misconduct arising out of an immigration matter. The client had retained the attorney to assist in obtaining a green card but secured the card without the lawyer's help. When the client sought a refund, the attorney responded with threats: "[the client and her spouse] were in for a battle they would wish they never started", would lose the green card and get kicked out of the country. The Michigan DRB found that the threat to disclose confidential information violated Michigan Rule 1.9(c)(1)(threats in order to gain advantage over former client). While imposing the reprimand, the Board warned that the decision should not be interpreted as imposing a ceiling for such misconduct. (Mike Frisch)

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