Monday, March 31, 2014

Amorous But Not Unethical (Except Once)

The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board rejected all conflict of interest charges save one arising out of the extremely active social life of an attorney.

Finding that only one of the attorney's many sexual relationships with women he had encountered in his law practice violated attorney ethics rules, the board has recommended a fully-stayed 30 day suspension.

The adverse finding

The [hearing] committee found that Respondent represented Ms. W. in a divorce action. The only matter left to complete in the divorce action was to toll the six months waiting period to confirm the divorce. During this period of waiting Ms. W. called Respondent to come have a drink at her house. Respondent did go to her house and had a sexual encounter.

By my rough count, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel called eight other witnesses who testified concerning their relationships with the attorney

The Committee noted, and the Board agrees, that with the exception of M. W. “the women who had sexual contact with Respondent were no longer clients at the time the sexual contact occurred based upon their belief and understanding that Respondent was no longer their lawyer or that Respondent manifested to them that he had withdrawn as their lawyer.” Based upon the many days of testimony provided by Respondent and his former clients, the Board concurs with this finding of the Committee.

The board determined that the attorney should not pay costs for the charges that were rejected. (Mike Frisch)

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