Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Resume Misconduct Leads To Sanction

Another report of discipline from the California Bar Journal notes the sanction of an attorney for a false employment resume:

[The attorney] was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a six-month actual suspension and he was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 9.20. The order took effect Oct. 31, 2008.

[He] stipulated to five counts of misconduct, all involving moral turpitude, stemming from misrepresentations on his resume. He claimed to have worked at two law firms where he never was employed and listed lengthy experience he never had and clients he never represented. When contacted by the general counsel for Sheppard Mullen, one of the firms where [he] said he had worked, he claimed the information was the result of typos and was meant to reflect that he had applied for a job there, not that he had worked there.

[He] stipulated that his statements demonstrated he “is untrustworthy even when confronted with an obvious lie that he made in writing.”

When questioned by a State Bar investigator, [he] said he contacted the ethics hotline and then contacted the general counsel of the law firm, implying that he initiated the contact in an effort to correct his resume. He also made false statements to a legal search firm.

I'd hazard a guess that we will see more of this type of misconduct given the downturn in the economy. (Mike Frisch)

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Comments

Mike, I agree with your assessment that there will be more like this. In addition to your point about the economy, it now seems like resume-puffing is much more on the radar screen of bar discipline organizations than I remember it being in the past (am I right?).

It seems to me that this used to be thought of, by the bar, as an employment matter with remedies in the real world like not getting the job or getting fired when caught, whereas increasingly it is treated as a bar matter. If I am right, it may also be that employers are more likely now to report this to the bar and not just perform their own remedies. Or maybe it was commonly policed but led to private or informal discipline.

But all of this is based on my unscientific recollection from reading lots of bar reports over the years that (1) they used to not be commonly based on resume padding, and yet (2) several recent examples are based on it. Of course it has always violated the rules; I am just saying it is, to me, a recent phenomenon of publicly-revealed enforcement.

Alan

Posted by: Alan Childress | Apr 1, 2009 8:13:22 PM

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