Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No Need To Be Superhuman

An attorney who had engaged in a series of retail thefts from Kohl's and sold the stolen items on Ebay under the name "1legaleagle1" had her license revoked by the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board. The board rejected the suggestion that the attorney's depression mitigated the sanction:

There is no question that depression can have a serious debilitating impact on a person and can lead to self-destructive behavior. However, nothing in this record helps us find the elusive causal link pursued by the panel between respondent's depressive episode and her sophisticated theft, retail fraud and fencing operation. In short, we cannot distinguish respondent from a person without the fundamental ethical grounding that prevents one from cheating, stealing or lying when the chips are down or circumstances are dire. A member of the bar need not be impervious to stress or be superhuman, but he or she must have the character to reject the option of theft under the circumstances of this case. Accordingly, we affirm the hearing panel's order of revocation.

(Mike Frisch)


Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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