Thursday, November 29, 2007

Threats Of Prosecution

The D.C. Court of Appeals today imposed reciprocal discipline for a violation of Rule 8.4(g), which prohibits the threat of criminal or disciplinary charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter. The lawyer had stipulated to the misconduct in Florida. This is an interesting (and no doubt appropriate) result notwithstanding a recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility in July 2006 that  rejected a proposed hearing committee finding of an 8.4(g) violation. The Board there noted: "We have located no reported decisions that address Rule 8.4(g) or its predecessor..." (the pertinent analysis is at pages 35-36). The problem, of course, is that is mighty difficult for a disciplinary prosecutor to prove sole motivation by clear and convincing evidence. (Mike Frisch)

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