Articles Tagged with legal ethics

The Connecticut Attorney’s Grievance Committee has rejected a settlement based on a lawyer’s failure to document legal transactions between the law firm and their former client.

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The Texas Court of Appeals has recently dismissed a legal malpractice claim against a Florida attorney for lack of jurisdiction.  In Rolnick v. Sight’s My Line, Inc., the owner of a Florida corporation filed a legal malpractice claim against several Texas law firms, alleging that they had failed to properly perfect a security interest on behalf of the corporation.

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The Fourth District Court of Appeals of California recently reversed a decision of the trial court dismissing a legal malpractice claim based on a lapsed one-year statute of limitations.  In Kelly v. Orr, a grantor created a trust agreement that named a successor trustee upon the resignation of the current trustee.  However, when the current trustee resigned, the daughter of the grantor seized control of the trust and became trustee.  She then retained a law firm using trust assets and followed their advice on how to manage the trust.

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The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York recently affirmed the decision of New York’s Supreme Court, dismissing a legal malpractice claim.  In McPhillips v. Bauman, a physician employed by the Department of Corrections sued an Assistant Attorney General who was assigned to represent him in a lawsuit brought by the estate of a deceased inmate.
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The Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently suspended a Massachusetts attorney, who made intentional misrepresentations to four of his clients. In the matter of Alexander R. Cain, an attorney was found to have fabricated documents, lied to his clients, and failed to diligently pursue his client’s claims and interests.

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The Supreme Court of Nebraska has suspended an attorney for an indefinite term after finding that she disclosed confidential information about a client.  In re Donna J. Tonderum, a Nebraska attorney informed a prosecutor that she believed one of her former clients was guilty of a crime.

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The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has suspended an attorney after finding that he engaged in unethical conduct.  In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Kratz, a Wisconsin district attorney met with the victim of domestic abuse to discuss the case, which he was prosecuting against her ex-boyfriend.  After the meeting, the attorney and the victim exchanged personal cell phone numbers. Over the following three days, the attorney sent the woman 30 text messages, some of which contained sexually explicit language that the woman felt was offensive.

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The Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals (“Board”) has disbarred an attorney after he was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with his operation of an investment scam.  In the Matter of Roger Lee Shoss, an attorney created fraudulent business entities using the names of corporation’s companies, which were still listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, but had lost their corporate status, due to their failure to pay taxes.

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The Florida Supreme Court has entered a judgment suspending an attorney for three years, after finding that he violated the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct.  In Florida Bar v. Bruce Edward Committe, an attorney filed a lawsuit on behalf of a client against a defendant, alleging that he maliciously interfered with a business relationship of the client and slandered the client.

The defendant moved for summary judgment.  The court granted the motion, holding that there was no admissible evidence to support either count of the client’s complaint.  Following a hearing on the motion, the court ordered the attorney and his client to compensate the defendant a total of $13,000 for his attorney’s fees and court costs.  The attorney subsequently appealed.

The Florida First District Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision.  After the appeal, the defendant sent two letters to the attorney requesting that he pay his portion of the judgment.  After he received the second letter, the attorney wrote to his local district attorney and claimed that the defendant was attempting to extort him.

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The Supreme Court of Georgia has revoked an attorney’s license to practice law in Georgia.  The lawyer represented a client in a personal injury action and negotiated a settlement in the amount of $30,000.  The defendants disbursed the settlement to the attorney, who deposited the check into his personal account and absconded with the money.  When the client never received the settlement funds and was unable to contact the attorney, he sought and obtained another payment from the defendants.  The defendants were also unable to locate the attorney and notified the Georgia State Bar of his conduct.

A disciplinary complaint issued, but the attorney again failed to respond.  For the above reasons, the Supreme Court of Georgia found that the attorney had wrongfully commingled funds, in violation of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules 1.15(II)(a) and 8.4(a)(4), and revoked his license to practice law.

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