Monday, June 4, 2012
The Rhode Island Supreme Court has affirmed a sanction requiring an attorney to pay over $13,600 in opposing attorney's fees.
The matter involved an elderly couple's transfer of their home to their son. The couple retained an attorney to file for bankruptcy but failed to list the transfer in the bankruptcy documents. A claim of fraud was brought by the trustee, and the son paid approximately $30,000 to settle the claim.
"Angry over the manner in which the bankruptcy proceedings had been handled, [the son] retained [the sanctioned attorney] to file a malpractice claim against [the first attorney]." The suit named both son and parents as plaintiffs; defendants were the first attorney and his spouse.
Defendants filed a motion for sanctions and a hearing was held. "During those hearings, [the sanctioned attorney] made many damning admissions."
He testified that he had done no legal research on five of the six pleaded counts. He never read the statute governing his unauthorized practice count. He admitted that he repleaded claims despite learning that some had no basis and that his practices were consistent with his method here. (Mike Frisch)