October 9, 2009
An already suspended lawyer was suspended for 60 days concurrent with the prior sanction by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. The complaint in the present matter was filed by an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine. The attorney and complainant had a "brief friendship." He was at her home discussing the ongoing bar hearing in the first matter and "became quite emotionally upset and angry such that he suddenly grabbed or struck [the complainant's ] German Shepherd puppy" and refused to leave until the day despite her demand that he do so.
The lawyer denied "certain descriptions of his attitude and behavior, but ...does now agree and regret that a number of his comments and actions were improper and could have caused [the complainant] to become as upset and distraught as she described in her complaint." Tus, his conduct was "unworthy of an attorney." (Mike Frisch)
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So Main's bar has turned into an etiquette police force, and perhaps an instrument of vengeful punishment for bad behavior at the home of a law professor. The lawyer was suspended for a substantial period of time for bad conduct having little to do with his fitness to practice law. So he behaved badly at the home of a woman with whom he had a brief relationship. That might be ground for a (non-remunerative) lawsuit, but not for discipline.
Posted by: Dennis Tuchler | Oct 9, 2009 9:26:01 AM
Compare this case with that in the previous post, where a lawyer was lightly slapped on the wrist for falsifying an official document, plainly in violation of the Rules and probably of Kansas's criminal law. Both call into question the competence of the two states' disciplinary machinery.
Posted by: Dennis Tuchler | Oct 9, 2009 9:28:09 AM