Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Probation For Social Media Misconduct

The September 2013 California Bar Journal reports an order of discipline:

[An attorney] was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years’ probation with a two-year actual suspension and ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect July 6, 2013.

[The attorney] stipulated to the facts surrounding his 2012 conviction for identity theft. [He] worked as a deputy district attorney with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office from August 2007 to July 2008, during which time he illegally assumed the identity of a female colleague.

According to the stipulation, [the attorney] set up Facebook and MySpace profile pages in the female prosecutor’s name, then posted a link on the profiles to a newspaper article alleging that the San Bernardino County District Attorney was engaging in extramarital affairs, including with the female colleague. [He] also sent friend requests to several of the woman’s contacts and posted comments using the woman’s name on two Internet blogs that discussed the allegations.

In mitigation, [he] was suffering from clinical depression at the time of his misconduct and had no other discipline in 13 years of practice. [He] also had letters from community members who testified to his good character and has devoted numerous hours to pro bono and community services activities, including counseling people with mental health problems.

(Mike Frisch)


Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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