April 30, 2009
Sex For Fees Disbarment
The Florida Supreme Court disbarred an attorney for various acts of professional misconduct including entering into a fee agreement that allowed the client a $200 credit for each time she had sex with him and a $400 credit if she arranged for other females to have sex with him. Alabama had investigated the incident and imposed a suspension of fifteen months.
In another Alabama bar case, the lawyer attempted to place in evidence a video that had been edited without advising the authenticating witness that the tape was not the original. He had pled to a misdemeanor involving interference with a judicial proceeding. He also has a pending Bar proceeding in California and original proceedings in Florida, where was already on suspension.
The court imposed non-permanent disbarment:
[He] has broken numerous Bar rules. He satisfied his own sexual appetite with a client as part of a sex-for-fees arrangement. He altered evidence and caused a witness to unkowingly give false testimony. He has charged his clients excessive fees and stolen their money. He has failed to maintain a trust account. He has broken public confidence in the profession of the practice of law by neglecting his clients and failing to prosecute their cases. He has labored under a conflict of interest. He has prejudiced the administration of justice by misrepresenting facts to multiple courts. And, throughout the disciplinary process in these cases, he has been dilatory, deceitful, and evasive.
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So, if he had been a lawyer in Nevada where prostitution is legal, would it then have been ethical for him barter work for sex? What if his client was simply a pimp and not a prostitute? Would it then have been ethical for him to barter work for sex?
Interestingly, the court doesn't really address the conflict issue which I think should be the most important factor. Instead, they appear to be stuck on the eithics of engaging in prostitution.
Posted by: FixedWing | Apr 30, 2009 9:35:50 PM
Hey Mike! Jay Leno just made a "pro bono" joke based on what you reported on here!
Posted by: Alan Childress | May 4, 2009 8:46:39 PM