January 29, 2010
A Multitude Of Services Does Not Equal Neglect
The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board affirmed a hearing panel''s determination that no misconduct was proven in a case where the attorney allegedly failed to file a motion for relief from judgment on behalf of an incarcerated client. The board recounts the panel findings:
...that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that [the attorney] had neglected a legal matter or violated any other rule of professional conduct alleged in the formal complaint....The panel specifically noted testimony that [the attorney] was retained to help [the client] edit a motion for relief from judgment that he had already written. The panel also relied upon [the attorney's] testimony regarding his discussions with [the client's mother] to the effect that she wanted her son to file the motion himself because the work he was doing on his own behalf was essential to his well being during his incarceration. The panel found that [the attorney] had performed a multitude of services, including, making several trips to the Upper Peninsula for meetings with his client, reviewing the brief drafted by [the client] and the legal arguments and cites contained therein, and meetings with [an expert] in Pittsburgh.
The board also rejected the suggestion that the lawyer had failed to "assist" the client. (Mike Frisch)
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