Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Ripening Position Does Not Amount To An Ethics Violation

A Louisiana Hearing Committee found no misconduct in a case where an attorney allegedly made a false representation to a court.

The attorney sought to withdraw his client's guilty plea in a criminal case.

The prosecutor, who could not be present for a morning session of court, had signed a document reflecting that he did not oppose the motion. After signing the pleading, the prosecutor told the attorney he was getting flack from his boss about his position but did not indicate that he had retreated from his consent.

The attorney told the court that the motion was unopposed. The court nonetheless declined to rule in the prosecutor's absence.

When court resumed, the prosecutor advised the court that "negative feedback [from his superior] had ripened into flat out opposition to the motion."

The committee found that these circumstances did not establish that the attorney made a false representation concerning the position of the prosecutor. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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