Monday, August 4, 2014
A criminal defense attorney who offered a witness $300 (and later $500) to not show up for a trial committed an offense worthy of disbarment, according to a recent report of a Louisiana Hearing Committee.
The criminal case involved a burglary where a gun was taken from a "raised double-shotgun house."
The hearing committee found that he came to a restaurant where the key witness was employed and offered him payment to drop the charges. The offer was increased on a second visit.
The hearing committee rejected the contention that the offer was intended as restitution rather than a bribe. They also found that the attorney's hearing testimony was false.
The witness told the prosecutor, who filed the bar complaint.
The accused attorney had called as a witness a lawyer who teaches trial practice at Tulane Law School. His own witness "testified that he never would offer money to a victim to drop a case; that would be unethical." (Mike Frisch)