Wednesday, December 6, 2017
An attorney with the last name of Bridegroom has agreed to a reprimand for an email sent during the course of his pro bono representation of a relative of his significant other.
The Arizona Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the result.
The parties agree Standard 6.23, Abuse of the Legal System applies to Mr. Bridegrooms’ violation of ER 4.4 and provides that reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer negligently fails to comply with a court order or rule, and causes injury or potential injury to a client or a party, or interference or potential interference with a legal proceeding.
The case involved a bitter interstate custody dispute in which the attorney represented the husband. The wife had made serious accusations against the client.
The wife was in the military. The misconduct involved an email sent to her commanding general and copied to her counsel.
As stipulated, Mr. Bridegroom negligently violated his duty to the legal system causing actual injury to the client and potential interference with a legal proceeding. His conduct in emailing the opposing party’s commanding officer interfered with the legal system.
The email made "serious allegations about Mother's integrity and honesty."
The bar did not contest that the email was sent in a good faith belief that the substantive contentions were accurate. (Mike Frisch)