Monday, May 14, 2012

The Battering Ram

An Arizona attorney has been suspended for one year with reinstatement on probation for two years.

Among the incidents were two sets of communications by telephone with medical records providers.

One involved the attorney's receipt of the wrong records. He yelled profanities at one employee and called a second "nothing but a slut who worked for a copy service."

He claimed that he had called her a "slug." She testified that she could tell the difference between a "g" and "t" sound.

He sought to leave a message to a second records provider and when he was told that she would get back to him stated that he was so excited that he "just came all over himself." He identified himself as "Maurie  Sieman." His true name is Meyer Ziman.

He testified that he is 67 years old and incapable of coming all over himself.

The Hearing Panel:

Lawyers should always strive to treat others with dignity and respect. Rude attacking comments reflect poorly on a self-regulating profession. When making business calls, it is not necessary to give grammar lessons, but that is not a sanctionable offense. It does however demonstate a pattern of insensitivity and intentional disregard of others and rules which [his] prior discipline had little impact upon. Worse and more aggressively to the point, it is inexcuable to make profane and insulting remarks. When followed by a pattern of neglect with respect to client matters, his conduct runs the gamut of minor to major transgressions and behavior that he has little apparent interest in controlling or addressing...

individuals have absolute freedom to hold any number of views. Respondent clearly holds other[s] in extreme low regard that he deems inconvenience him. He is entitled to hold that opinion. However, Respondent brandishes his opinion as a battering ram, intentionally offending people. This Panel does not believe these are "slips of the tongue" or inadvertant. Respondent is intentional in his conduct and bull whips people by his words with a zeal. While in private life he may be as rude, offensive and demeaning as he chooses, in his professional life he may not hide behind his First Amendment rights to ignore his sworn responsibilities.

(Mike Frisch)

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