Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Probation Revoked For Misconduct In Probation Revocation Case

The North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed an order of the state disciplinary commission imposing a 90 day suspension for ethical misconduct that was found to violate a previous order of disciplinary probation. Ironically, the misconduct involved abandonment of a client who was alleged to have violated criminal probation. The attorney contended that a breach of the fee arrangement by the client justified his behavior. The court disagreed:

"An attorney not only is an employee of his client but also is an officer of the court. This dual relation imposes a dual obligation. To the client who refuses to pay a fee the attorney must give specific and reasonable notice so that the client may have adequate time to secure other counsel and so that he may be heard if he disputes the charge of nonpayment. To the court, which cannot cope with the ever-increasing volume of litigation unless lawyers are as concerned as is a conscientious judge to utilize completely the time of the term, the lawyer owes the duty to perfect his withdrawal in time to prevent the necessity of a continuance of the case." (Mike Frisch)


Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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