Monday, September 13, 2010
Is there an epidemic?
On the heels of the South Carolina admonishment of an attorney for sex with the client's spouse (reported earlier today) comes a decision of the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board that upped the 179 day suspension imposed by a hearing panel and suspended the attorney for three years as a result of his affair with his client's wife.
The attorney represented the husband in an action for separate maintenance and thereafter commenced a sexual relationship with the client's wife (who also was represented by counsel). The attorney's client was suspicious that his spouse was having an affair and sought his attorney's advice. The attorney "failed to disclose his firsthand knowledge of that affair."
The client sought out other counsel, who hired a private investigator. When the client discovered the affair, he demanded a refund of the fees he had paid to the attorney. The attorney refused, "stating that he had worked on the case and had earned his fees."
As one might imagine, the cuckolded client has little use for the profession:
I have no trust. I have no trust in the system. You know, I've never even had to deal with anything through the law in my life, and I hired him as my attorney and expected him to represent me and he did everything but.
A dissent would impose disbarment. (MIke Frisch)