Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Error In Your Favor

A Virginia attorney has accepted a public reprimand without terms as a result of misconduct in a divorce case in which he represented his sister. The sister was found to owe over $11,000 in child support arrearages. The attorney filed but lost exceptions to the commissioner's report that had found that his client owed the arrearages. Then, opposing counsel was instructed by the commissioner to draft an order.

Opposing counsel made an error in the draft order to the effect that her client owed the money rather than vice versa. The order was entered with the error. When the error was discovered, the attorney refused to sign a corrected order.  With knowledge of the mistake, he initiated action that sought to collect the money. He cited inapposite cases in support of his position. Eventually, the order was corrected.

The admitted violations involved the rules that require fairness to opposing parties and truthfulness to third parties. (Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2010/11/an-error-in-your-favor.html

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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Comments

Seems more serious than a reprimand to me. He actually tried to collect on the money? How is this different from just embezzling 11k from the opposing client?

Posted by: Alan Childress | Nov 9, 2010 8:06:59 PM

Alan:

I think Virginia gives agreed reprimands in cases that would bring much a stiffer sanction elsewhere.

Posted by: Mike Frisch | Nov 10, 2010 5:12:58 AM

This type of situation happened to my husband in his divorce from his first wife. The court made him pay up. He was, of course, not happy. Who would be?

Posted by: LAB | Nov 10, 2010 1:11:04 PM

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