Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Michigan Lawyer Sanctioned For Misuse Of Funds Of California Estate

A Michigan attorney was appointed executor of his first cousin's estate in California. The attorney was not admitted in California and retained counsel to assist in probating the estate. He was charged with misconduct relating to alleged mishandling of estate funds. In the bar proceeding, he contended that Michigan ethics rules did not apply and that the panel "had no authority to determine whether [he] violated California law." The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board rejected this claim: "this Board and its panels have...found misconduct based on violation of the criminal law of other states, as well as upon violation of the probate law of other states." Misconduct warrants appropriate discipline regardless of where it takes place. Further, "to the extent it even makes sense to try to pin down the situs of [the attorney's] acts and omissions, the misconduct clearly took place in Michigan." A four-year suspension was ordered. (MIke Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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