Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 0
Attorney Name Anonymous,    
DBP Docket No. 84 DB 2000
Supreme Court Docket No. None
Disciplinary Counsel Edwin R. Frownfelter
Counsel for Respondent
Decision Date 2001-03-08
Effective Date
Case Digest Respondent was representing a client in a contempt motion related to a custody action. On the day of hearing of the motion, Respondent advised his client he would obtain a change of venue and sent his client home. Respondent then appeared at the hearing and made an oral motion for change of venue. When the court denied the motion, Respondent falsely stated to the court that his client was unavailable as he was traveling in the course of his employment, and that he had been authorized by the client to stipulate to a finding of contempt and to a proposed schedule of visitation. The court then entered an order levying a fine on the client and transferring custody to the opposing party. Later the same day, Respondent met with the judge and acknowledged that his false statements. The court then directed Respondent to pay the fine, which he did. The client obtained new counsel and the matter was litigated without prejudice to the client. Respondent acknowledged that his conduct was "incredibly stupid" and explained that he was under great family and financial stress. The parties agreed to a disposition of private reprimand.
Rule Violation(s) 1.1; 1.2(a); 3.3(a)(1); 8.4(c); 8.4(d)
Discipline Imposed Private Reprimand
Points of Law Private reprimand is appropriate where the lawyer misleads the court, but immediately acknowledges his wrongdoing, pays a fine levied by the court, and cooperates in transfer of the client's case to other counsel.
Report/Opinion not available