Friday, January 2, 2009
From the January 2009 online edition of the California Bar Journal:
[An attorney] was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Aug. 1, 2008.
[He] stipulated that he presented an outdated resume to a prospective employer, committing an act of moral turpitude.
He left the law firm where he worked when it downsized and hired a resume writing service. However, his new resume was not ready when he heard about a job opening, so he submitted an old version, without revising the dates of his previous employment. The resume gave the impression that he was still employed.
[He] later faxed a new resume to the prospective employer but it did not clarify his dates of employment.
In mitigation, [he] has no discipline record, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation and he presented letters attesting to his honesty.
Does this strike anyone out there as unduly harsh? From the description of the misconduct, it appears that the resume was perhaps misleading but not outright false. Further, the attorney was downsized rather than terminated for misconduct. It is not the same as, say, concealing a job where the applicant had been fired for incompetence.
In D.C., we had a case (In re Hadzi-Antich, 497 A.2d 1062, decided in 1985) where the attorney received a public censure for falsifying his law school class rank on a resume. While I do not always think that D.C. gets sanction correctly (as readers well know), a sanction that does not include a suspension seems appropriate here.
I would not call this conduct involving moral turpitude which is defined as, among other things, "base, vile and depraved."(Mike Frisch)