August 5, 2011
No Violation Found In E-Mail to Opposing Counsel
A Louisiana Hearing Committee found no misconduct in a matter that involved an e-mail sent from one (the accused) attorney to another. The substantive evidence consisted solely of the e-mail and the testimony of the accused. The e-mail is set forth below:
I am in receipt of your letter dated February 25, 2008. In
your letter you assert that (i) we have actively interfered with and
have attempted to induce a breach of contract between your firm
and Constellation Entertainment, and (ii) we have issued false and
defamatory statements against you.
As you are probably aware, there is no cause of action in
Louisiana for intentional (or negligent) interference with a contract
by a third party.
Further, we have not issued any false or defamatory
statements against you. If you have some evidence to the contrary,
please notify me of the pertinent details and I will immediately
issue a clarification to the appropriate party.
As advisor to Constellation Enteltaimnent, I have reviewed
the contract that you have referred to. I have also reviewed the
rules of professional conduct governing business transactions
entered into between and among Louisiana lawyers and their
clients. It appears to me that you have violated those rules both (i)
by the terms of the contract itself, and (ii) by your subsequent
dealings with your client. If necessary, I will present evidence of
such violations to the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board and in such a case I would be compelled to seek additional evidence of
misconduct from your prior clients as well.
However, I do not want to have an acrimonious relationship
with you. So, perhaps it would be best if we put all of this behind
us. If Constellation Entertainment wants us to purchase the tax
credits, then we shall. If they don't want us to, then you may Either
way, though, I don't think that it would be appropriate for either
you or me to attempt to force the transaction to occur. Don't you
The committee found that the attorney's explanation was not rebutted and that the failure to call the recipient as a witness was fatal to the bar's charges. Further, the recipient had not reported the matter to disciplinary counsel. (Mike Frisch)
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