Monday, November 26, 2007

Fiduciary Obligation

The Oklahoma Supreme Court disbarred an attorney for misappropriation of entrusted funds. The court found that an intent to eventually repay the funds did not warrant a lesssr sanction, quoting from an earlier case that quoted the decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court in in re Wilson:

"Lawyers who 'borrow' may, it is true, be less culpable than those who had no intent to repay, but the difference is negligible in this connection. Banks do not rehire tellers who 'borrow' depositors' funds. Our professional standard, if anything, should be higher. Lawyers are more than fiduciaries: they are representatives of a profession and officers of this Court." (Mike Frisch)

November 26, 2007 in Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

I've Got A Secret

I have long held the view that the public should be entitled to any and all information concerning the bar disciplinary process. This view has never been shared by the Bar powers that be in the District of Columbia. In a recent case, a lawyer was charged with failure to cooperate in a disciplinary investigation. Bar Counsel put the underlying complaint into evidence, making it a public document under D.C. Bar rules, absent a protective order. The accused lawyer did not seek such an order and did not participate in the hearing.

The D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility raised the issue for him, requiring that information about the complaint be sealed. Bar Counsel took an exception. The D.C. Court of Appeals held that the attorney had waived any claim of confidentiality and directed that the materials be unsealed. The court declined to address the issue of whether the information should be sealed on the timely motion of the accused lawyer.

This is nothing new for the Board. Several years ago, the Board proposed a secret probation for a lawyer (we called it the "double-secret probation" case). The court rejected the idea that an attorney could be subject to disciplinary supervision without public disclosure of that fact. The case is In re Dunietz, 687 A.2d 206 (D.C. 1996) and is not available in electronic format.

Disclosure: I prosecuted an earlier case involving this attorney. Also note that the D.C. Bar webpage listing this attorney's disciplinary history does not, as it should, provide a link to the Board's report. (It appears that the link to the summary of discipline for the attorney does not work, either). Guess their reasoning is secret as well. (Mike Frisch)

November 26, 2007 in Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bizarre Citation Credit!

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw

The BE Press, makers of ExpressO, sends me periodic reports on papers submitted to the working paper database that contain various parameters I selected, including any reference to my name in the full text.  So I can see if I have been cited.  The e-mail identifies itself as "Citation Hits for JML" suggesting that it is doing a search on my full name.

Imagine, then, my surprise to find out, according to BE Press's Citation Hits for JML, I had been cited in a paper entitled Quantification and Confocal Imaging of Protein Specific Molecularly Imprinted Polymers Chinch and then again in Chinch Bug (Hemiptera: Blissidae) Mouthpart Morphology, Probing Frequencies, and Locations on Resistant and Susceptible Germplasm, and then again in, of all things, Thomas Jefferson University - A chronological history and alumni directory, 1824 - 1990, edited by Frederick B. Wagner, Jr., MD, and J. Woodrow Savacool, MD, 1992. This last predates anything I had written by some thirteen years.

The well-to-do side (not mine) of my father's family (his uncle and cousins) started a small business, called Lipshaw Manufacturing, many years ago in Detroit forging high quality pathology tools, like scalpels and forceps.  At some point, it started making more sophisticated equipment like centrifuges and other electronic lab equipment.  In the late 1980s, it merged into (or was purchased by) a company called Shandon, and if you do a Google search on "Lipshaw," you get a few references to me, several to Mattl1 the neuropathy paper my son Matthew (left) co-authored in the Nature Neurology journal, a number to, strangely, a NewLipshawmicrotome Zealand cricket player by the name of Stu Lipshaw, and the overwhelming majority to references in the scientific literature to experiments conducted on Shandon Lipshaw equipment, like the Lipshaw 45 Microtome at right.

BE Press is giving me citation credit for studies using equipment manufactured by the company my distant relatives sold twenty years ago.  How nice!  Imagine how many citations I'd have if my name were Smith.

November 25, 2007 in Hot Topics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)