January 20, 2012
Not Perfect, Not Unethical
A Louisiana Hearing Committee has concluded that two attorneys did noy engage in unethical conduct in their representation of a defendant charged in a road rage case. The committee recommends that no discipline be imposed.
The first attorney was retained for a $750 fee with a $375 advance payment. He does volume work and has an arrangement with Attorney Two to handle some court proceedings for him. It appears that the client did not object to the arrangement and he matter referred to Attorney Two, who was an experienced criminal practitioner.
Attorney Two was ready to try the case but the matter was continued. On the retrial date, Attorney Two arrived late from another court appearence. The trial had commenced in his absence. The client secured acquittal on his own (and, understandably, did not wish to pay the balance of the retainer).
The committee found Attorney One had no ethical lapse in the arrangement with Attorney Two. They further found Attorney Two's late arrival not a violation. (Mike Frisch)
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