September 24, 2007
A Georgia lawyer was represented by counsel in a personal injury action. After judgment, he disputed an attorney's lien asserted against the proceeds. When his appeals bore no fruit, he filed a pro se civil action against the former lawyers, the trial judge and a member of the judge's staff, several court clerks and the judges who ruled against him on appeal. A bar grievance was filed and the civil action was voluntarily dismissed.
The Georgia bar counsel filed ethics charges. The Georgia Supreme Court concluded that the lawsuit was frivolous in that judges are immune from suit when acting in their judicial capacity. "[T]he lawyer's] claims of conspiracy amount to false statements that the Court of Appeals did not tell the truth simply because they ruled against him." The court expressed concern about the mental health of the lawyer, suspending him for at least one year with reinstatement conditioned on a mental health evaluation and compliance with treatment recommendations.
In an unrelated matter, the court disbarred an attorney for misconduct as a Department of Justice trial attorney. He took a Rolex watch and currency that had been seized pursuant to a search warrant. When questioned by the DEA, he returned the watch but not the money. He also had submitted a number of false travel vouchers. (Mike Frisch)
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