Wednesday, March 9, 2011
A story posted today at SFGate.com describes a recent California disciplinary action:
A veteran Pacifica attorney is facing disbarment for allegedly duping an 85-year-old client into giving her $339,000, entering into a sham marriage with him and ignoring his will by having him cremated after his death.
Linda Lowney "took advantage of a lonely, sick old man" and thwarted his intent to transfer his estate to his nieces, Judge Pat McElroy of the State Bar Court said Friday.
She ordered the immediate suspension of Lowney, who has practiced law since 1978 and had no disciplinary actions on her record. The disbarment could be appealed to the state Supreme Court, but Lowney's attorney, Jonathan Arons, said Tuesday he had little hope that such an appeal would succeed, despite his disagreement with the ruling.
"I think they (the court) misunderstood the relationship," Arons said. "This was a marriage."
The attorney was 54 when she married a man who was "85 and in poor health."
According to SFGate:
Lowney also sued for a share of Tollefsen's estate. A state appeals court ruled against her in 2009, suggested "financial abuse of elders" was involved and referred the case to the State Bar.