Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stop The Presses

A District of Columbia Hearing Committee has approved a petition for a negotiated disposition in a matter involving an attorney's representation of a Japanese company before the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission.

The client manufactures large printing presses. The representation involved so-called "anti-dumping" matters, which involve the sale of foreign goods in the United States at an unfair low price.

The client was being investigated for anti-dumping violations. During the period, it  sold two printing presses to the Dallas Morning News. The attorney submitted a questionnaire to Commerce in a petition to lift an order that omitted material facts about the Dallas sale.

According to the stipulated facts, the attorney had advised the client to make the appropriate disclosures and the client "rejected the advice."

The misconduct took place in 1998. It appears that the conduct did not result in a criminal or other proceeding against the attorney.

The stipulated sanction is a one-year suspension.

The case is In re Yoshihiro Saito and can be accessed through this link. The attorney had been a partner at Perkins Coie.

My view is that this is a reasonable and appropriate outcome for an aging case. (Mike Frisch)

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“Respondent … practiced for 14 years since the incident without additional charges. Petition at 6-7; Tr. 67.... Respondent is 72 years old, and has retired from the practice of law. Tr. 67... Bar Counsel conceded that it was “less than diligent” in investigating this case, which came to Bar Counsel’s attention in 2003, but was not petitioned until 2011. Id.”

Report, p. 11

So in other words, Bar Counsel did absolutely fuck-all to protect the public, sitting on his hands for eight years and then, once the gentleman had completed his entire career, agreed to a negotiated settlement so as to bury a case which really must be viewed as an embarrassment.

Wouldn't you agree that this is the far more interesting take-away from this case? Don't be protecting your fellow bar counsel, Mike.


Posted by: Stephen Williams | Dec 12, 2013 11:37:29 AM

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