One Angry Man: California Lawyer Faces Disbarment Over Alleged Misconduct as Juror

calbarsealThe California State Bar Court Review Department has recommended that San Francisco attorney Francis T. Fahy was disbarred after he allegedly said that he would change his vote simply to get back to his law practice. This is an amazing case that reads like a scene out of Twelve Angry Men when Juror Number 7 (Jack Warden) announces that he is willing to change his vote just to be in time for a New York Yankees game.

The bar judge found that Francis T. Fahy voted to find a defendant not liable for negligence because the jury had deadlocked and was keeping him from his practice. He is also accused of then lying to the court about his vote.

The case involved a 2004 medical negligence case involving an ophthalmologist’s performance of laser eye surgery. Fay was reportedly upset that the judge would not declare a mistrial and told other jurors that he would change his vote if the court stretched deliberations into a second week.

This is not the first time that Fahy has run afoul of the bar. He was placed on a two-year active suspension in 2007 for willfully misappropriating trust funds.

Things got even more bizarre when the plaintiff’s counsel Dan M. Himmelheber submitted a declaration allegedly from Fahy and bearing his signature that said that he voted for a defense verdict solely to end deliberations and return to his practice. He insists that Fahy helped draft the statement, but Fahy has not denied it and said that his signature was forged.

The dispute with Himmelheber raises even more serious questions of filing a false statement or a forgery with the court. It also raises a question of defamation.

For the full story, click here.

10 thoughts on “One Angry Man: California Lawyer Faces Disbarment Over Alleged Misconduct as Juror”

  1. I overseen something on internet about Fahy/Steiner, lawsuit. Is this same Fahy?!
    And if so is he still practicing law?
    So his “deadlock” is a joke?

  2. Ya, hey, jerk turly is deleting posts again. Must have had a couple glasses of wine…

  3. uncle Sam:

    “We Americans are damn tired of being thought of as dumb by the rest of the world.

    So we went to the polls in November and removed all doubt.”


    I suppose that would apply to both Novembers — in 2000 and 2004.

  4. Yes, Mike A., but we all know if you weren’t getting the free grinder after a few days, you would have changed your vote so you could go home!

  5. I was actually seated on a jury several years ago in an attempted murder case, probably because I don’t handle criminal law. It was a great experience seeing how things work from the other side. I got a lot of valuable insight and was impressed with how seriously my fellow jurors took their responsibility. Plus, I didn’t have to buy my own lunch for a change-free subs from Quizno’s.

  6. Joe,

    They can serve, but they are usually excluded by peremptory challenge during voir dire. Most lawyers don’t want another attorney in the jury room, but sometimes you have to deal with what you have.

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