Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Problem With Authority

A Louisiana hearing committee has recommended the disbarment of an attorney with "a previous history of instituting legal actions against judges and court personnel when they, acting in their official capacities, seek to curtail [his] misconduct as an attorney." The attorney was reprimanded in 1999 for suing a judge, an assistant attorney general and the judge's secretary after an arrest warrant had been issued when he failed to appear for a court proceeding.

Here, the misconduct involved vexatious litigation against the entire roster of judges in a district court, opposing counsel, former clients and jurors. After a hearing, the attorney was suspended on an interim basis in November 2007. Formal charges were heard in July 2008. The attorney was found to have filed a false and defamatory statement accusing a district attorney of being complicit in murder, making false representations to a tribunal in a case involving disputed ownership of a seafood company and filing a frivolous lawsuit that made "incendiary" allegations against public officials among other violations.

The lawyer called the bar investigation a "witch hunt." He claimed the charges were politically motivated, involved constitutionally protected activity and that a judge's complaint against him was due to his refusal to contribute to the judge's campaign. He "admitted he has a problem with authority, anger and his perceived ill treatment." While finding that he "seems knowledgable and smart" but no mitigation in his rationalizations for the misconduct, the hearing committee finds that he should be disbarred: "He was...given numerous opportunities to reconsider and rethink the consequences of his actions over the three years at issue in these complaints, but instead used every opportunity to exponentially increase the acrimony, litigation, accusations and abusive legal tactics to redress his perceived wrongs--not 'as a member of the public,' but as an attorney." (Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2009/04/a-problem-with-authority.html

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