Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vermont: Not Unethical To Lie To Break Dinner Date

The Vermont Professional Conduct Board has admonished an attorney (not named in the order) who was asked to create documents to memorialize past transactions but was "negligent in deciding not to indicate that the documents were created and signed years after the agreements were actually reached." The conduct was not intended to deceive or otherwise misrepresent the agreements.

The board noted that the Vermont Supreme Court had "recently clarified the scope of what level of conduct will result in a violation of [the Rule prohibting dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation]."

The court said:

[We] are not prepared to believe that any dishonesty, such as giving a false reason for breaking a dinner engagement, would be actionable under the rules. Rather [the rule] prohibts conduct... that reflect's on an attorney's fitness to practice law, whether that conduct occurs in an attorney's personal or professional life.

(MIke Frisch)


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