Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pressure Tactics Draw 30-Day Suspension

A 30-day consent suspension has been approved by the Arizona Presiding Disciplinary Judge

The parties agree that while representing a client, Mr. Strojnik used inappropriate means to compel a settlement. Representation of the client began in December 2014 and Mr. Strojnik filed a complaint in Federal Court on March 19, 2015 alleging sexual harassment of his client. In his demand to defendants, Mr. Strojnik threatened to use press releases to alert the public to the sexual allegations to facilitate settlement.

In a correspondence to the opposing party he announced he had created a website regarding the allegations and personally posted unprofessional comments. He assured the opposing party he would cause a “shame on” you banner to be placed in a public area of the businesses of the defendants. To force settlement, Mr. Strojnik also told the opposing party he scheduled meetings with police and the Department of Justice regarding the lawsuit alleging the hiring and harboring of undocumented workers, and asserted that through his efforts that CBS 5 Investigates was investigating the allegations to compel settlement. 

Mr. Strojnik was warned his conduct was actionable under Arizona law and violated his ethical obligations. For about five weeks Mr. Strojnik stopped. When “settlement efforts broke down he reverted to his previous conduct.” He reopened his website, posted content on that site and arranged to have flyers distributed at the business of defendants stating defendant was a “predator” with defendant’s picture. In response to a settlement offer Mr. Strojnik stated, “I do not engage in hyperbole. What I say is what I do.” Mr. Strojnik stated he intended to “destroy” the businesses of defendant.

The parties conditionally stipulate that at the insistence of Senior United States District Court Judge Neil V. Wake, Mr. Strojnik eliminated the need for a restraining order by agreeing to cease his inappropriate conduct. The parties stipulate “The Court made it very clear, however, that Respondent’s behavior was unprofessional.” It is stipulated Mr. Strojnik was warned his conduct was illegal and unprofessional. It is stipulated Mr. Strojnik returned to that behavior after the warning.

ABC15 KNXV-TV had a report on other lawsuits and bar complaints involving the attorney.

Phoenix Business Journal also had an August 2016 story on disability cases brought by the attorney

The Arizona Attorney General's Office has stepped in to the controversy surrounding Valley businesses and lawsuits concerning compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to a statement, the AG's office has filed a motion to intervene on one of the cases in Maricopa County Superior Court, Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities, LLC vs. 1639 40th Street LLC.

Because more than 1,000 filings have been filed by AID and its attorney, Peter Strojnik, the AG's office said its intervention is a matter of public importance.

Though the plaintiff said the intention of the lawsuits is to make businesses compliant, the attorney general's office says AID and Strojnik are "apparently engaging in 'trolling' litigation tactics designed to induce defendants into quick pre-suit or post-complaint settlement that merely enriches the Plaintiff."

The AG's office is asking that the 1,000-plus lawsuits be consolidated into this action and dismissed.

Former AID Executive Director Jennifer Rogers resigned from her position yesterday as a result of the controversy.

(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2016/11/a-30-day-consent-suspension-has-been-approved-by-the-arizona-presiding-disciplinary-judge.html

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

Comments

I have been trying to find the specific Order about bad publicity. I am an attorney in Virginia where opposing counsel is doing the same thing, just not threats of criminal investigation - only threatening negative news coverage, repeatedly. I can't find the specific order on Westlaw or any of the state bar websites. Can you help me locate the Court Order?

Posted by: Adam Deno | May 4, 2020 12:17:32 PM

Post a comment