March 26, 2012
Getting Involved In Ex-Wife's Litigation Leads To Reprimand
The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has imposed a public reprimand of an attorney for professional misconduct in connection with his wife's legal dispute with her ex-husband. A hearing committee had found no ethical violations.
The complainant in the bar case was the ex-husband.
The misconduct involved a draft proposed interim joint custody order that the attorney sent to his wife's counsel. The draft contained several false statements of material fact.The wife's counsel did not review the proposed order. Rather, he forwarded to the court without the false assertions being caught. The order got signed with the attorney's misstatements. It was vacated when the parties realized what had occured.
After the order was signed, the attorney had sought to enforce its terms and sent this communication to the ex-husband's lawyer:
Just to make sure [your client] knows the restrictions placed on his behavior, make sure he doesn't show up at my house, and make sure he doesn't make a scene. I suppose, if you are too chicken-shit to tell him yourself, I can tell him.
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