Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Recorded Calls Resolve Credibility Dispute

A lawyer retained to pursue a habeas corpus petition on behalf of an incarcerated client was suspended on consent for five years. The attorney and client had spoken on the telephone twice. In the first conversation, the lawyer told the client (incorrectly) that the filing deadline was the next day. The lawyer discovered his error and filed the petition on the following day by forging and notarizing the client's signature. The petition was dismissed and, in the second telephone conversation, the lawyer agreed to seek reconsideration but not to appeal. He never filed the reconsideration motion

The lawyer and client gave differing accounts of the two conversations. The lawyer submitted his false account to the bar in response to the complaint. It turns out that both conversations were recorded and that the truthful account was that of the client. As is so often the case in bar discipline matters, the cover up was as bad if not worse than the underlying ethical transgressions. (Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2008/10/a-lawyer-retain.html

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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