Friday, July 20, 2007
The Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct reports an interesting recent decision of the Oregon Supreme Court. The lawyer accused of misconduct was general counsel to a company that "designs and manufactures thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems for military and government use." He also had management responsibility for the export licensing process.
The lawyer was "one of several corporate executives who signed a management representation letter confirming...certain facts relating to [the company's] 1998 business activities." The company's revenues were significantly overstated. The key disputed issue in the bar case was his mental state when the letter was signed.
The court analyzed the evidence regarding his mental state and found that "the accused was not a lone actor...[b]ut the others involved were not lawyers" and that his "role was a significant one, and the choice he made to sign the management representation letter containing material false statements is the type of conduct that significantly erodes public confidence in the intregrity of the legal profession." A 120 day suspension was imposed. (Mike Frisch)