Friday, September 5, 2008
An attorney who had made false oral and written statements to a judge in connection with a criminal matter was suspended for three years by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The attorney had a history of bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction. He had a spotty history of responding to treatment and had lied to his treating doctor about his cocaine problem.
A witness who testified on behalf of the attorney "described [him] as a person who has a temper and engaged in erratic conduct." After the disciplinary hearing, the lawyer proved that the testimony was accurate--he "made audible comments concerning Disciplinary Counsel...such as 'if you hear bones breaking, it's going to be [hers].' " He also called the prosecutor "the most obnoxious f***ing person I know" and a "f***ing slime ball." He later apologized. The Disciplinary Board had proposed a two-year suspension, and called the above insults "petulant and childish behavior..."
I had a similar experience with the spouse of a lawyer that I prosecuted. As we went to the sixth floor elevators after the argument in the court of appeals, the spouse wished that the elevator would break and send me to my death. Wishing did not make it happen. (Mike Frisch)