The 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.
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