Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mother-Related Misconduct

An Arizona hearing officer has recently filed a report approving an agreed disposition of a 90 day suspension followed by two years probation in a matter involving misconduct committed in the course of representing a divorce client. The lawyer had raised his fees four times during the representation without a written agreement and had charged attorney rates for clerical tasks. He acquired a pecuniary interest adverse to the client (a promissory note for unpaid fees with a deed of trust secured by the client's home) and without advising of the desirability of independent legal advice. He then assigned the interest to his mother and divulged confidential information to mom,and engaged in a conflict of interest by representing his mother in related matters adverse to the client. The lawyer had participated in fee arbitration and there were no issues regarding restitution. (Mike Frisch)


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