Friday, July 16, 2021

"Generally Biological Mothers Often Lie"

An attorney's misconduct in two adoption matters drew disbarment from the Kansas Supreme Court.

In one matter the attorney filed false papers without adequate investigation. 

The biological mother testified at the hearing that she learned she was pregnant the morning she gave birth and that she never told anyone, including the biological father, that she was pregnant before that day. She also stated that she did not inform the biological father of C.L.'s birth.

At issue was an effort to terminate the biological rights through an adoption proceeding premised on a misrepresentation concerning the biological father's pre-birth awareness of the pregnancy. 

The trial court terminated his rights and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

The biological father secured reversal from the Supreme Court

The tactical move by the prospective adoptive parents had the desired result, but they admittedly got there by filing a lawsuit without appropriate factual investigation and by alleging false grounds for terminating Father's parental rights. They claimed, for example, that Father had failed to support Mother during the six months prior to C.L.'s birth and abandoned her after having knowledge of the pregnancy, even though he did not learn of the pregnancy and birth until two days after the fact. Worse yet, the prospective adoptive parents, under oath, verified these false accusations as being true. As Judge Malone observed in his concurrence, "these allegations obviously were untrue" given the fact that no one—not even Mother—was aware of the pregnancy.

There was a second similar incident in an adoption matter.

He self-reported after the Supreme Court reversal and explained

In his response and at the hearing on the formal complaint, the respondent indicated that generally biological mothers often lie and that he was skeptical about the biological mother's claim that she was unaware she was pregnant until giving birth to C.L. and that his skepticism was 'warranted.'

The respondent stated:

'After having read about the Supreme Court's decision in a Topeka newspaper, [the girlfriend of the biological mother's father] sent me the enclosed email . . . [and] it appears that the birth mother may have known she was pregnant before she delivered the child.'

The information the respondent received after the Supreme Court opinion was released was never investigated nor cross-examined. Because the information was not investigated, it is difficult to say whether the information was true or false. The receipt of this information does not make the false statements in the adoption petition true, nor does it mitigate the respondent's misconduct. At the time the respondent filed the adoption petition, he had no factual basis for the assertions made in the petition.

The court

In effect, respondent used the legal process to traffic children. It is not hyperbole to put the matter this starkly, and we can think of no breach of trust more significant or damaging than this. Our legal system depends on the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, truthfulness, and trustworthiness of our lawyers. Without this, we cannot be said to have a system of law, only a corrupt game of power and manipulation with a façade of lawfulness. A lawyer cannot come back from a breach of trust so grave. The confidence of the public and the sanctity of the rule of law can only be protected and preserved by meting out the most serious sanction available to us— disbarment.

Disbarment is the appropriate sanction when "a lawyer, with the intent to deceive the court, makes a false statement . . . and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a party, or causes a significant or potentially significant adverse effect on the legal proceeding." ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions, § 6.11 (1992). The harm respondent caused can hardly be understated—to his own clients (who were forced to suffer the heartbreaking judicial reversal of the adoptions of their children); to the fathers (who lost years of crucial parenting time with their children); to the children (who doubtless will suffer early childhood trauma which may reverberate through their lives); and to the people of Kansas (whose confidence in our legal system's ability to arrive at just and equitable resolutions to such disputes is seriously undermined by such misconduct). In the past, we have dealt similarly with other cases of fraud and dishonesty.

The Rule 3.1 violation found for failure to investigate representations made in pleadings is a timely subject. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink


Martin Bauer did the same thing in my case, and the KS Supreme Court ignored it. The courts are all corrupt.

Posted by: Paul A Fiscus III | Oct 4, 2021 12:21:58 AM

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