Monday, February 6, 2023
The Love That Spoke Its Name
The North Carolina Disciplinary Hearing Commission ordered a 12-month suspension of an attorney admitted in 1977 for misconduct involving a client in a custody and support matter
While at the restaurant, Defendant flirted with H.S. and kissed her:
Defendant subsequently engaged in frequent communications with H.S. that were flirtatious, romantic, or sexual in nature.
Defendant proposed that he and H.S. could go on romantic trips together and mused about whether they could love each other.
Defendant sent H.S. graphic messages, explicit propositions, one or more semi-nude photos of himself, and at least one photograph of his genitals.
Defendant recognized that his desire for a sexual and romantic relationship with H.S. created a potential conflict of interest, telling H.S. that "if she felt any type of conflict existed, she should have independent legal advice at no cost to her."
Kelso did not obtain H.S.'s informed consent, confirmed in writing, to the potential conflict of interest created by his personal interest in pursuing a sexual and romantic relationship with her.
During the representation, Defendant gave H.S. $500 to buy household items, permitted H.S. to use his credit card, and wrote her a check for $8,000.00.
When a grievance was filed, Respondent violated confidentiality by sending a copy to opposing counsel
Defendant's disclosure of this confidential information was potentially adverse to H.S.'s interests, although opposing counsel did not use the information to submit motions or other pleadings to the court in the domestic case.
There was also misconduct in an unrelated personal injury matter. (Mike Frisch)