A prominent lawyer Melbourne barrister, Ross Ray QC, was killed recently in an accident that was both ironic and tragic in its facts. Ray was the lead litigator fighting a requirement of safety rollbars on “quad bike” or off-road vehicles. He was killed on his farm in Mansfield when his quad bike rolled over and pinned him due to the lack of a rollbar.
United States District Judge Andrew Hanen issued a remarkable opinion yesterday that found that Justice Department lawyers not only lied to him and opposing counsel but “it is hard to imagine a more serious, more calculated plan of unethical conduct.” What is even more remarkable however is that, after finding such calculated and unethical conduct, Hanen ordered the lawyers to simply take ethics classes rather than refer them to the bar for suspension or disbarment. Many attorneys object that government lawyers routinely escape serious punishment for false or misleading statements. In this case, the judge found that the Justice Department misled him and opposing counsel in a case by Texas and 25 other states that sought to block President Barack Obama’s controversial immigration programs. Hansen blocked the program. Notably, the Justice Department is even opposing ethical classes as a sanction.
It is not every recent law grad who can claim that he appeared before the state supreme court soon after graduation. Unfortunately, this is one appearance that University of Wisconsin law graduate Joshua Jarrett is unlikely to add to his resume. In a close vote, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that Jarrett could be admitted to the bar so long as he is supervised for two years. Bar officials sought to block Jarrett after concluding that he had misrepresented his grades and credentials in a job application.
Arkansas judge O. Joseph Boeckmann Jr. has resigned in a truly bizarre scandal where he was accused of ordering male defendants to be spanked, engage in sex acts and bend over for thousands of photographs to fulfill their “community service.” What is interesting is that he was under investigation by the State Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, which began an inquiry in 2014 over a possible conflict of interest in an unrelated case on elder care. When they started to investigate, they were shocked by accounts of these other parties. He has not however faced criminal charges, which is curious given his alleged abuse of office.
Lawyers often try to take a bite out of the evidence but one Russian lawyer takes that expression to a literal degree. This Russian lawyer was caught on CCTV actually eating the report showing the level of alcohol in his client’s system at the time of an automobile accident. The video is below.
There are bad exhibit demonstrations and then there is the demonstration recently in Karachi’s Anti-Terrorism Court when a judge asked a police constable if he knew how grenades worked. The constable showed him by pulling the pin out of the grenade. You can guess what happened next.
There is an interesting decision out of the Missouri Supreme Court where lawyer Joel Eisenstein has been suspended with leave to file for reinstatement in six months. Eisenstein used information obtained by his divorce client by guessing his wife’s email password, including confidential information given by his wife’s lawyer. It is equally incredible to see how Eisenstein was found out.