Thursday, August 16, 2007
Does bad advice or an unsuccessful legal strategy amount to a failure to provide competent representation? No, according to a recent Hearing Board Report from Illinois. The attorney had been retained in a complex criminal case where the client faced the possibility of deportation. The client discharged the lawyer prior to the conclusion of the criminal case. In rejecting charges of a Rule 1.1 violation, the hearing board noted that "litigation requires strategic planning and the failure of that plan does not necessarily amount to incompetent representation...[the attorney] made several questionable decisions [but] made legal decisions based on his legal experience and the client's expressed wished [sic]" The hearing board found that the lawyer had charged an excessive fee and failed to advise the client that he had paid a referral fee.
The title of this post? The hearing board chair was John Steed III. (Mike Frisch)