Monday, August 9, 2010
The National Organization of Bar Counsel has chosen a bar discipline matter from Iowa that we previously reported as its case of the month. Jim Grogan's typically lyrical case summary in part:
The mere act of committing a crime does not necessarily constitute conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of the lawyer ethics code.
Lady Godiva was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked on her horse through the streets of Coventry to protest the oppressive taxes her land-owning husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, had imposed upon the local peasantry. Her husband had promised her that he would be more forgiving to his minions if she stripped naked and traveled through town on her steed. In facilitating her journey, he issued an edict commanding all town folk to stay indoors, close their shutters, and keep their eyes off of his wife. One citizen, a tailor named Tom, decided to disobey the edict and drilled a hole in his shutters so that he might gaze upon the lady when she passed by his shop. While staring at Godiva, Tom the Tailor was struck blind. All ended well for the rest of the citizenry, however, as Leofric rescinded the taxes.
[The sanctioned attorney] is a modern day Tom. He wasn’t struck blind, but he did suffer some degree of retribution owing to a predilection to peep.
Our coverage of the decision of the Iowa Supreme Court is linked here. (Mike Frisch)