Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Consent Sanction For Statement Concerning Judge

The Louisiana Supreme Court accepted a petition for consent discipline and imposed a deferred  suspension of three months of an attorney who was accused of violating Rule 8.2 by making a false statement concerning a judge.

Two justices indicated that they would reject the consent petition. (Mike Frisch)


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I am involved in a Rule 8.2 case at present where the lawyer sent a private email to a trial court judge long after he had finally decided the case and it had been upheld on appeal, privately asking the judge to explain why he had not merely ruled adversely on the merits but added insult to injury by gratuitously slandering the losing lawyer in his written "findings of fact and conclusions of law."

Theemail suggested that perhaps there were improper reasons why the judge might toss out such gratuitous dicta and asked the judge to privately tell the lawyer whether such was the case and why. Under 8.2 the Board must prove that something capable of being true or false in the factual sense was said by the lawyer and that it was in fact false and concerned the judge's "integrity." Apparently even asking a judge privately whether he had allowed improper factors to influence his decision and to add to it a slangerous diagtribe about the lawyer is a statement of fact punishable under 8.2 even if the true answer might have been Yes. Smacks of seditious libel of the King - and you thought we have no "kings" in America.

Posted by: Caldwell Hancock | Apr 4, 2013 4:56:40 PM

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