June 18, 2012
No Reprimand For "Egregious, Improper And Appalling" Conduct
The Georgia Supreme Court has rejected an attorney's petition for the voluntary discipline of a Review Panel reprimand, concluding that "the State Bar focused its review [of the matter] too narrowly, giving too little weight to the seriousness of the many allegations that remain."
The State Bar had not objected to the petition.
The attorney had "filed complaints in intervention in two bond validation cases on behalf of himself and an entity he controls, Citizens for Ethics in Government, LLC."
He arranged to speak with the defendant developers outside litigation counseland the CEO of the management company. He was not aware that the conference call was recorded by the CEO:
[Petitioner] told them that he would not pursue the complaints in exchange for payment of 1% of the bond issuance amount (which would have amounted to $1.2 million).
The trial court was advised of the call and held a hearing as a result.
The trial court then "entered an order dismissing the complaints, approving the bond transactions and awarding attorneys' fees..." The petitioner and the entity were ordered to pay over $435,000 in fees and expenses.
The trial court's order stated that the conduct was "egregious, improper and appalling to the Court and the practice of law." (Mike Frisch)
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