August 11, 2007
A Fit Candidate For Probation?
A lawyer was found to have neglected his client's employment discrimination claim. He submitted a letter to Bar Counsel concerning the allegations that was a "total fabrication." Further, it was found that his "lack of remorse or contrition and his attempt to blame his neglect on his client" was an aggravating factor. The sanction recommended by the D.C. Board of Professional Responsibility? A stayed 30 day suspension with one year probation. The board found that the accused lawyer had not deliberately lied under oath in the bar proceeding. Guess that's enough for probation in lieu of actual suspension.
Here, the submission of false evidence and lack of recognition of misconduct was no impediment to leniency. Is probation an appropriate sanction for a lawyer who contends he has done nothing wrong? It is in the District of Columbia. (Mike Frisch)
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