October 23, 2010
Proposed Sanction Upped For "Channeling" Attorney
The Arizona Disciplinary Commission has affirmed findings of misconduct against an attorney who had "channeled" a client's deceased wife but increased a hearing officer's proposed suspension from six months and one day to one year. Both recommendations propose that reinstatement be followed by two years probation.
Our coverage of the hearing officer's report highlights the unusual facts:
The hearing officer has recommended a six month and one day suspension of an attorney who, while in an intimate relationship with a client involving his late wife's estate, "claimed to be able to convey the thoughts of the deceased wife to the client." The attorney also was charged with falsely denying in a bar proceeding that "she had ever 'channeled' the thoughts of a deceased person to a client."
The attorney met the client while taking ballroom dancing lessons from him. She was retained to handle his divorce, but that representation terminated upon the wife's suicide. The attorney channeled the wife for three years, until she and the client stopped dancing together and parted ways.
The State Bar had sought disbarment. (Mike Frisch)
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