Monday, June 10, 2013
The New Jersey Supreme Court has censured an attorney who engaged in sex with a cient.
The attorney was appointed to represent the client on theft charges. The complainant was the client's mother.
The attorney was aware that the client had attempted suicide, was undergoing treatment for methadone withdrawal and was involved in a custody dispute.
He also was aware (and told the client) that he could be disciplined for his conduct.
The relationship lasted about six weeks, until the attorney's wife found out about it.
The client testified about the situation at the disciplinary hearing:
I felt like I better behave or one, I liked him and he would leave me or two, he could screw me in court and not represent me all the way ...
The Disciplinary Review Board concluded that the attorney engaged in a conflict of interest and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
The fact that the attorney was apppointed was treated as an aggravating factor. (Mike Frisch)