Thursday, August 1, 2013
It's the time of year when the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility issues reports in anticipation of its August recess.
Yesterday, the board recommended that the Court of Appeals impose a suspension of 18 months and fitness of a former government attorney found to have instituted frivolous litigation and related misconduct in two matters.
The attorney had opened an art gallery after he retired from government service. He purchased a painting that he believed to be the work of Emil Jakob Schindler, a 19th century Austrian artist. He sought to sell through Christie's and ended up suing the auction house. Christie's had declined to sell the work without an opinion as to its authenticity.
This case was found to have violated several ethics rules governing the conduct of litigation.
There were like findings in a second suit brought against a recreational pool and tennis club in Montgomery County, Maryland.
The board analysed the application of the doctrine of offensive collateral estoppel, concluding that findings of the court in the Christie's litigation established some, but not all, of the charges.
The case is In re Robert Fastov, link available here. (Mike Frisch)