Naples attorney reprimanded for jail romance with client » Naples Daily News

This article is about an attorney who was going to the jail to see an inmate that he’d been smitten with (not to do lawyerly stuff, but to see and visit her), and writing her a postcard under an assumed name. 

This is fascinating.  First of all, she is in JAIL for DUI.  I certainly can’t understand the attraction, but they say love is blind (and can’t smell, either).  Secondly, SHE IS IN JAIL FOR DUI.  Enough said. 

There was no allegation of hanky-panky, but he did clearly step well outside the lines with his conduct.  Ultimately, his boss (whom I know and have the ultimate respect for) filed a Bar complaint on him for one type of misconduct.  What I don’t understand is that the Bar found him guilty of doing a different type of misconduct.

The Bar attorney originally correctly charged a violation of Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-8.4(c):

A lawyer shall not . . . engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, except that it shall not be professional misconduct for a lawyer for a criminal law enforcement agency or regulatory agency to advise others about or to supervise another in an undercover investigation, unless prohibited by law or rule, and it shall not be professional misconduct for a lawyer employed in a capacity other than as a lawyer by a criminal law enforcement agency or regulatory agency to participate in an undercover investigation, unless prohibited by law or rule . . .

The attorney entered a plea to violating Rule 4-8.4(d).  That rule reads: 

A lawyer shall not . . . engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to knowingly, or through callous indifference, disparage, humiliate, or discriminate against litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers on any basis, including, but not limited to, on account of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, or physical characteristic. . .

Here is the link to his plea, you can see for yourself what I am talking about (alleging subsection (c)).  The Supreme Court referee ratified that plea in its report,  and the Supreme Court accepted the recommendation and reprimanded the attorney (finding him guilty of subsection (d)).

How he ended up pleading and being found guilty of violating the wrong rule is anyone’s guess.  I guess this is a case of everyone proofreading their work before signing it and submitting it to the courts.  Maybe they should all check Rule 4-1.1. . . .  I’m just saying . . .

Here’s the story:  Naples attorney reprimanded for jail romance with client » Naples Daily News

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