November 16, 2009
The Tennssee Supreme Court has publicly censured an attorney. The attorney submitted a conditional guilty plea to misconduct that involved "instructing a client...to shred duplicate photocopies of account statements the client had illegally taken from an employer against [the lawyer's] specific instructions to the client not to take such documents." The client had falsely denied (and filed two confirming affidavits) that he had taken the documents, which contained confidential customer information. Later, the lawyer told the client to shred the documents "so that the information could not be illegally used by [a] new employer and so that the client would again be in compliance with federal and state financial privacy laws."
The lawyer had disclosed the shredding and perjury to opposing counsel and the court. Howver, the initial advice was improper. (Mike Frisch)
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