Saturday, December 12, 2009
An Arizona hearing officer has recommended public censure in a bar discipline matter involving an attorney admitted in 1972. The attorney was appointed to represent a defendant charges with hindering the prosecution of a homicide. The client, at the attorney's urging delivered a shirt worn by the defendant (not his client) in the homicide case. The shirt was covered with the blood of the victim. The attorney lost the bloody shirt. After he was removed as counsel, the attorney disclosed confidential information about the circumstances in a defense interview. He did so negligently, according to the hearing officer, because he testified that he "simply wasn't thinking clearly." The statements were suppressed and there was no resulting harm to the client.
In addition to the censure, the hearing officer recommends that the attorney take a CLE course called "Candor, Courtesy and Confidences: Common Courtroom Conundrums." (Mike Frisch)