Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If You Order It, You Shall Pay For It

Does a lawyer who fails to pay a court reporter for a transcript commit an ethical violation? Yes, according to a recent hearing board report from Colorado. The testimony established that it is custom and practice in Colorado for the attorney to assume responsibility for payment. The attorney had a yearly income from his law practice of $7,000. A public censure was imposed. (Mike Frisch)

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Comments

Oh come on. Why wasn't this treated as an ordinary breach of contract or collection case? I'm not excusing the attorney for non-payment, but his isn't an ethics issue. Rather, it was an apparently young attorney who didn't have much cash who got screwed by a client who couldn't pay. Doesn't the bar have better things to do?

Posted by: Carolyn Elefant | Aug 30, 2007 11:49:15 AM

Oh come on. Why wasn't this treated as an ordinary breach of contract or collection case? I'm not excusing the attorney for non-payment, but his isn't an ethics issue. Rather, it was an apparently young attorney who didn't have much cash who got screwed by a client who couldn't pay. Doesn't the bar have better things to do?

Posted by: Carolyn Elefant | Aug 30, 2007 11:49:24 AM

I agree with Carolyn, esp at the level of punishment.

Posted by: Alan Childress | Aug 30, 2007 4:50:08 PM

When I was with Bar Counsel, we regularly dismissed such complaints, along with the non-payment of rent cases. I thought this case was particularly notable because of the "custom and practice" evidence that is cited in favor of finding an obligation that creates ethical liability.

Posted by: Mike Frisch | Aug 30, 2007 6:25:31 PM

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