Lawyer is Reprimanded For False Statement In Motion for Extension of Time.

The case is In re Ryan Kenneth Melcher, 2018 PR 88. Melcher was employed as an assistant federal publid defender in the office of the Colorado federal defender. Melcher’s error was a mistatement of fact in a routine motion for extension of time. The Panel describes the error in this way;

2. In November 2016, Respondent was appointed to represent Rocky Allen (“Allen”) before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Tenth Circuit”) in relation to Allen’s appeal of his 2016 federal criminal conviction for tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by deceit or subterfuge. The matter was captioned United States v. Rocky Allen under case number 16-1450.

PAGE 2:

3. On April 26, 2017, while representing Allen, Respondent filed a motion in Allen’s matter before the Tenth Circuit entitled “Appellant’s Unopposed Motion for 14-Day Extension of Time to File Reply Brief.” In his motion, Respondent informed both the court and his opposing counsel at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado that he had multiple matters scheduled for oral arguments, and needed additional time to prepare, and included the following information in his motion:

“I also have been working on the following cases with upcoming deadlines in this Court: United States v. Archuleta, No. 16-1297 (oral argument set for May 9, 2017); United States v. Ivory, No. 15-3238 (oral argument set for May 10, 2017); United States v. Olea-Monarez, No. 16-1330 (opening brief due May 15, 2017); United States v. Allen, No. 17-1083 (opening brief due June 5, 2017).”

4. In writing that another client’s matter in United States v. Ivory was set for oral argument on May 10, 2017, Respondent knowingly made a false statement to both the court and his opposing counsel as United States v. Ivory was not set for oral argument, which Respondent knew at the time he filed his motion.

When the mistake was recognized, it was quickly corrected. Despite the correction, the ARDC made a finding that the lawyer engaged in fraudulent conduct in violation of Rule 8.4(d).

5. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

a. knowingly making a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal, by filing a motion for extension of time and including language that he needed additional time to prepare for oral argument in United States v. Ivory when Respondent knew there was no oral argument pending in the Ivory matter, in violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

b. knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a third person, by serving government counsel with a motion for extension of time in which Respondent wrote that he was preparing for oral argument in United States v. Ivory when the Ivory matter was not set for oral argument, in violation of Rule 4.1(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); andc. engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, by purposely including false language that United States v. Ivory was set for oral argument when Respondent knew there was no oral argument pending, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010

The Panel acknowledges that the lawyer made only one false statement in the motion and that he recevied no personal benefit from that false statement. In addition, the respondent lost his job and has now been publicly embarrassed.

Comment: in my opinion this small error should have been dealt with by a private reprimand, not a public finding that the lawyer violated Rule 8.4(c). This is disciplinary overkill.

ARDC Recommends 60-Day Suspension for False Statement In Motion

The ARDC Review Board has recommended a 60-day suspension for a lawyer who made a material misstatement in a motion to vacate a conviction. In Illinois an old conviction, even if you have led a blameless life, can lead to dire consequences because you are forever barred from holding any professional license – even one to cut hair. This harsh rule has been criticized and challenged but it has stood the test of time. Here a lawyer made a false statement in a motion to vacate a conviction and the Review Board has recommended a 60-day suspension.

In March 2017, Respondent agreed to represent Courtney Chester in an effort to have her 2001 battery conviction voided so that she could apply to nursing school. Chester was 17 when she was charged with battery, but she had turned 18 on the day before she pled guilty to the charge. Thus, she was 18 at the time of her guilty plea and conviction. Respondent knew she was 18 when she pled guilty.

“Respondent began conversations with Assistant States Attorney Joseph Lesner about Chester’s situation. Lesner told him to get a motion on file. Respondent thus prepared and filed with the court a motion to vacate Chester’s guilty plea and conviction. In the motion, Respondent stated that Chester was 17 at the time she was charged and sentenced. He further stated: “As [Chester] was only 17 at the time of the plea and conviction[,] her plea and conviction should properly be voided.” (Admin. Ex. 1 at 5.) He knew that statement was false when he filed the motion, because he knew that Chester was 18 when she entered her guilty plea and was sentenced.

Respondent also sent a cover letter to Lesner explaining the motion, in which he stated that Chester was “trying to become a nurse and to do so she needs to remove her conviction for battery in 2001. She was 17 at the time and was eligible for court supervision.” (Admin. Ex. 1 at 6.)

About a month after filing the motion, Respondent appeared in court on the motion to vacate, in front of Winnebago County Circuit Court Associate Judge Brian Shore. Judge Shore questioned him about the basis of the motion, pointing out that Chester was 18 

when she pled guilty and that the motion, on its face, was not correct. Respondent told Judge Shore that he did not look at the actual plea date and that, when he wrote the motion, he believed Chester was 17 at the time of her plea, but subsequently determined that she was over that age. The judge continued to press Respondent about the incorrect statement, and Respondent continued to assert to the judge that he did not intend to state something false. The judge dismissed the motion to vacate because of the “blatantly false allegation.” (Admin. Ex. 3 at 3-8.) At his disciplinary hearing, Respondent acknowledged that his statements to Judge Shore that he did not look at the actual plea date and that he believed when he wrote the motion that Chester was 17 when she pled guilty were false. (Report of Proceedings at 34-35.)”

If you have a legal ethics issue and would like to discuss it with us, do not hesitate to contact us. Also, please review our legal ethics webpage. https://www.clintonlaw.net/legal-ethics.html

Lawyer Charged with Misrepresentation to the Court About HIs Client’s Age

The ARDC has filed a complaint against a lawyer who filed a petition to vacate a 2001 battery conviction of a client. In the motion, the lawyer stated that the client was 17, but, in fact, she was 18 when she pleaded guilty.  The case illustrates the enormous effect that an old conviction can have on a young person. The client was denied admission to nursing school because of a 2001 conviction, where she had no attorney present.  For the lawyer, the difference between 17 (a minor) and 18 (an adult) was very significant.

The complaint alleges violations of Rule 3.1 (frivolous allegation), Rule 3.3(a)(1) (false allegation in a pleading) and 4.1(a) (false statement of fact to a third party).

The allegations of fact:

1. On April 6, 2001, the state’s attorney for Winnebago County charged Courtney A. Chester (“Chester”) with the offense of battery, allegedly occurring on March 29, 2001, a misdemeanor in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-3(a)(2) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. The clerk of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Winnebago County docketed the case as People v. Chester, case number 2001-CM-0002559.
2. In March and April of 2001, Chester was 17 years old.
3. On April 16, 2001, Chester appeared in court pro se and pled not guilty to the charge against her in case number 2001-CM-0002559.
4. On June 13, 2001, Chester appeared in court pro se, and the judge continued case number 2001-CM-0002559 to August 30, 2001, a date after Chester’s 18th birthday.
5. On August 30, 2001, Chester appeared pro se in court before the Honorable Brian Shore and pled guilty to, and was found guilty of, the battery charge. At that time, Judge Shore, pursuant to the conviction for the battery offense, entered an order sentencing Chester to conditional discharge for a period of 12 months.
6. On or about February 24, 2017, Chester applied to become a student in the nursing program at Rasmussen College. As part of her application, Chester consented to an independent background check. That background check identified Chester’s 2001 criminal conviction, and she was denied admission to the nursing program.
7. On or about March 1, 2017, Respondent and Chester agreed that Respondent would represent Chester in connection with her 2001 criminal conviction for battery. Respondent and Chester agreed, and Chester did pay Respondent $750 to represent her in the matter. Chester told Respondent that she had been 18 years old at the time she pled guilty to the battery charge in 2001. At that time, Respondent knew that Chester’s conviction was not eligible for expungement under 20 ILCS 2630/5.2, and so he agreed to request that a judge vacate her conviction.
8. Sometime between March 1, 2017 and May 17, 2017, Respondent spoke with Winnebago County Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Lesner (“Lesner”) and asked Lesner whether he would consider agreeing to a motion to vacate Chester’s conviction in case number 2001-CM-0002559. At no point in that conversation did Respondent tell Lesner that Chester had been 18 years old at the time of her conviction or that her conviction could not be expunged. At no time before May 17, 2017 did Lesner tell Respondent that he would give favorable consideration to a motion to vacate the conviction.
9. On May 17, 2017, Respondent filed a motion to vacate Chester’s guilty plea and conviction in case number 2001-CM-0002559. In the motion, Respondent made the statement that “[Chester] was 17 years of age at the time of charging and sentencing.” Respondent also made the statement that because “[Chester] was only 17 at the time of the plea and conviction her plea and conviction should be properly voided.”
10. Respondent’s statements in the motion to vacate that Chester was only 17 years old at the time of her conviction were false because she was then 18 years old.
11. Respondent knew when he signed and filed the motion that the statements in paragraph 9 of this complaint were false because he knew that Chester had been 18 years old when she pled guilty to the battery charge and was sentenced.
12. Respondent sent a copy of the motion to vacate to Lesner and included a cover letter that repeated the statement that Chester had been 17 years old at the time of her battery conviction.
13. Respondent’s statement in the letter to Lesner that Chester was only 17 years old at the time of her conviction was false because she was then 18 years old.
14. Respondent knew when he made this statement that it was false because he knew that Chester was 18 years old when she pled guilty and was sentenced to conditional discharge.
15. Respondent appeared in court before Judge Shore in connection with the motion to vacate on May 23, 2017, and Judge Shore continued the matter until June 27, 2017.
16. Respondent and Lesner appeared in court before Judge Shore on June 27, 2017 in case number 2001-CM-0002559. When Judge Shore (referred to as “THE COURT”) called the case, he questioned Respondent about the motion to vacate:
THE COURT: Okay. The basis of the motion was the birthdate, but that’s not an issue anymore, is it?
RESPONDENT: Well, she was 17.
LESNER: She was 17.
THE COURT: Not at the time of the plea?
RESPONDENT: Yeah. I don’t know. I’ve still – –
17. At the June 27, 2017 hearing, Judge Shore also questioned Respondent regarding his statement in the motion to vacate that Chester was 17 years old when she pled guilty to battery:
THE COURT: Well, but you pled that she was 17 at the time she pled.
RESPONDENT: That’s what I believed when I wrote the motion, but subsequently I determined that she was, in fact, over that age, but – –
* * *
THE COURT: You did not research the pleading?
RESPONDENT: I did not research the date. I was researching other issues because that was my first option.
18. The statements Respondent made in open court relating to Chester’s age on June 27, 2017, as alleged in paragraphs 16 and 17 of this complaint, were false. Respondent knew that the statements were false because he knew that Chester had been 18 years old when she pled guilty and was sentenced.
19. In denying the motion on June 27, 2017, Judge Shore admonished Respondent for filing a “blatantly false allegation” that would have been “simply verifiable.”

Conclusion: Had the lawyer’s representations been more accurate, the client would have been better served.
‘via Blog this’

ARDC Review Board Recommends 60 day suspension for Lawyer Who Created Fake Corporations To Contest a Mechanic’s Lien

A lawyer was hired to defend a mechanic’s lien action. Typically, a mechanic’s lien is filed by a contractor who did work on a construction project. The lien is designed to force the owner of the property to pay the outstanding invoice. Lien law is tricky and complex.

Here the respondent was retained by two homeowners to defend a mechanic’s lien lawsuit. Instead of defending the lien, the respondent created two spurious entities to apparently convince the court that the lien was invalid. The Hearing Board found that this conduct involved dishonesty and false statements to a tribunal and recommended a 30-day suspension. The Review Board increased the suspension to 60 days.

The Review Board recites the facts in this manner:

In July 2011, Respondent began representing David and Jody Bilstrom in a mechanic’s-lien action that was filed against them in 2006 by Artisan Design Build, LLC, a Wisconsin limited liability company. Respondent took over the case after the Bilstroms’ prior counsel withdrew. Respondent believed that he would not have difficulty resolving the matter, because it was his opinion that the mechanic’s lien was invalid.
In the initial complaint, as well as in an amended complaint filed in 2008, the plaintiff was incorrectly named “Artisan Design Build, Inc.” Soon after filing his appearance in the matter, Respondent prepared articles of incorporation for an Illinois entity named “Artisan Design Build, Inc.” – the exact name of the plaintiff as captioned in the complaint and amended complaint. Respondent designated his employee, Steven Schwartz, as the registered agent for Artisan Design Build, Inc. He listed the company’s registered business address as 2101 St. John’s Avenue in Highland Park, Illinois, which was Mr. Schwartz’s home address at the time.
At Respondent’s direction, Mr. Schwartz signed the Articles of Incorporation and filed them with the Illinois Secretary of State. Respondent paid the filing fee. Respondent admitted in his answer to the disciplinary complaint against him that Artisan Design Build, Inc. never undertook any work or transacted any business in Illinois or anywhere else.
On or about July 26, 2011, Respondent drafted a letter to himself purportedly from Mr. Schwartz as the sole shareholder of Artisan Design Build, Inc. Respondent directed his secretary to type the letter and Mr. Schwartz to sign it. The letter stated, among other things, that Mr. Schwartz knew nothing about the lawsuit involving a corporation with the name Artisan Design Build, Inc.; was concerned that the pending lawsuit could have a negative impact on his corporation; and wanted the lawsuit terminated. Respondent admitted at his disciplinary hearing that these statements purportedly by Mr. Schwartz were false, in that Mr. Schwartz knew all about the lawsuit because he was working for Respondent, and was not concerned about the effect of the lawsuit on his corporation.
About nine days after drafting the letter, Respondent drafted and filed a motion to dismiss the complaint against the Bilstroms. In the motion, he argued that the only corporation with the name “Artisan Design Build, Inc.” that has ever been qualified to do business in Illinois was the corporation for which articles of incorporation were filed in July 2011. He attached the July 26 letter signed by Mr. Schwartz and claimed that it was from the individual who filed those articles of incorporation and who is its sole shareholder. He further argued that the plaintiff in the lawsuit had not obtained authority to conduct business in Illinois, never existed in Illinois, and had not paid a franchise tax or license fee, and that its authority to conduct business in Illinois had been revoked, so that it could not maintain a civil action in an Illinois court.
At his disciplinary hearing, Respondent admitted that he did not inform the court that Mr. Schwartz was his employee and had formed the corporation at Respondent’s direction.
PAGE 4:
He testified that he believed Artisan Design Build, LLC’s original lien was invalid, and that the company was being sneaky in creating a lien under a different name and foreclosing on that lien, and he wanted the court to understand that that was something that should not be done. He acknowledged that he should have made his points in a straightforward manner rather than by drafting and attaching the letter. He testified that his intent in preparing and attaching the letter was to make sure that Artisan Design Build, LLC could not proceed under the name Artisan Design Build, Inc., and that his goal was to have the plaintiff proceed as Artisan Design Build, LLC. He denied that he was trying to deceive anyone with the letter.
On November 29, 2011, the court granted Artisan Design Build, LLC leave to file a second amended complaint to correct its captioned name, and denied as moot Respondent’s motion to dismiss.
In August 2012, while the mechanic’s-lien lawsuit was still pending, the Bilstroms sought to get a mortgage from a bank. The bank was concerned about the litigation and wanted to make sure that the mechanic’s lien did not exist. Respondent provided a title report that did not show the lien and offered to provide his professional opinion that the lien was invalid, but that was not sufficient to assuage the bank’s concern about the litigation. According to Respondent, the bank wanted “external documentation.”
Respondent thus drafted a “Release of Mechanic’s Lien” using the same lien number as the one that Artisan Design Build, LLC had recorded in 2006. The purported release listed the lienholder’s name as “Artisan Design Build, Inc.” and stated that Artisan Design Build, Inc. released the claim for lien against the Bilstroms and authorized the DuPage County Recorder of Deeds to enter satisfaction and release of the lien.

Respondent directed his employee Mr. Schwartz, as registered agent for Artisan Design Build, Inc., to sign the release, and directed his secretary to notarize it. Respondent or
someone acting at his direction presented the purported release to the DuPage County Recorder of Deeds and caused it to be recorded. Respondent paid the filing fee.
At his hearing, Respondent admitted he knew that Artisan Design Build, Inc. did not file a lien; that, at no time on or after the date the lien was filed, had the mechanic’s lien been satisfied or released; that, at no time did he have the authority of Artisan Design Build, LLC to release the mechanic’s lien; and that Mr. Schwartz did not have authority to release the lien.
A few weeks after filing the purported release, Respondent realized the release referred to “Artisan Design Build, Inc.” instead of “Artisan Design Build, LLC,” so he drafted a second release for the same lien number, but under the name of “Artisan Design Build, LLC.” Respondent directed Mr. Schwartz to sign, and his secretary to notarize, the second release. He presented the second release to the DuPage County Recorder of Deeds and caused the release to be recorded. He paid the filing fee.
Respondent admitted that Artisan Design Build, LLC did not satisfy or release the mechanic’s lien; that he knew that Mr. Schwartz was not authorized to release the lien; that Artisan Design Build, LLC did not authorize him to release the lien; and that he had no rights in the Artisan Design Build, LLC name.
In September 2012, Respondent or someone acting at his direction filed an application to cancel the assumed corporate name of Artisan Design Build, Inc. At Respondent’s direction, Mr. Schwartz signed the application as the company’s president. On the same day, to comport with the information in the second purported release, Respondent drafted and caused to be filed with the Illinois Secretary of State articles of incorporation for an entity named “Artisan Design Build, LLC,” with the same registered business address as Artisan Design Build, Inc. – Mr. Schwartz’s home address. Respondent directed Mr. Schwartz to sign the articles of incorporation for Artisan Design Build, LLC as its manager. Respondent paid the filing fee.
Respondent admitted that Artisan Design Build, LLC, the Illinois company that he organized, never transacted business in Illinois, and that neither he nor Mr. Schwartz transacted business on behalf of Artisan Design Build, LLC in Illinois.
At his hearing, Respondent testified that he created the purported releases because the bank wanted outside documentation. He testified that he knew the liens “were gone” and “invalid to begin with.” He testified that he did not think he was doing anything wrong because he “was filing a release of something that didn’t exist,” so “wasn’t releasing anything.” He testified that he had planned to use the releases, but did not use them outside of recording them.

My opinion: given the amount of deceptive conduct involved here and the creation of fake documents purporting to release mechanic’s liens and the failure to express remorse, I’m surprised the suspension was for only 60 days. For anyone who is facing a harsh penalty, this case can be used as an example of why your client should not be suspended for more than 60 days.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

www.clintonlaw.net 

‘via Blog this’

Appellate Court Holds That An Attorney Forged Documents To Make An Appeal Appear Timely

Lurie v. Wolin, 2017 IL App (1st) 161571 – Ill: Appellate Court, 1st Dist., 3rd Div. 2017 – Google Scholar:

Every now and then, even I am shocked by a court decision on a legal ethics issue. Here, the Appellate Court first remanded a case to the trial court. On remand, the trial court found that the attorney for the plaintiff had forged documents to make an untimely appeal appear timely. Accordingly the appeal was dismissed.  



The court’s summary explains its affirmance of the trial court’s findings:

¶ 1 This case comes before us for a second time. In the prior appeal, we held that Derek and Steven Lurie’s complaint adequately stated a cause of action against the defendants, Philip Wolin and Wolin, Kelter & Rosen, Ltd., for legal malpractice. We reversed the dismissal of the complaint. Lurie v. Wolin, 2014 IL App (1st) 130661-U. On remand, defendants asked the circuit court to reconsider the issue of whether it lost jurisdiction over the case before it entered the order we reviewed in the prior appeal. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court found that the Luries’ attorney filed documents with date stamps falsified to make the court believe that the attorney had filed the documents within the time permitted. The circuit court found that it had lost jurisdiction in 2011, before it filed the order we reviewed in the prior appeal, when the Luries failed to timely file a motion to reconsider the dismissal of the complaint with prejudice.¶ 2 On appeal, the Luries argue that the law of the case doctrine barred relitigation of the jurisdictional issue and that the evidence did not support the finding that the circuit court lost jurisdiction in 2011. We agree with the Luries that the circuit court’s original implicit ruling that it had jurisdiction became the law of the case. However, because the allegations supported a finding that the Luries’ attorney perpetrated a fraud on the court, we find that the law of the case doctrine does not prevent us from considering the jurisdictional issue. The circuit court’s finding of fact that the attorney falsified the documents is not contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence, and it supports the ruling that the circuit court lost jurisdiction over the case in 2011, before it entered the order we reviewed in the prior appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the circuit court’s judgment dismissing the Luries’ complaint.

Comment: the lawyer who allegedly forged documents to make it appear that the appeal was timely has been disbarred.





‘via Blog this’

Fifth Circuit Suspends a Lawyer For One Year For Missing Deadline and Making False Statements To Court

This discipline matter arose out of a foreclosure case which was removed to federal court. The court ordered the attorney to draft and file an amended complaint, but the attorney missed the deadline. The case was then dismissed. The attorney then filed a Rule 60(b) motion in which he claimed that he had not received the orders of the court because they had an incorrect email address for him. Because this assertion was not accurate the district court requested further information and issued a rule to show cause. The Fifth Circuit explains:

In his Verified Response, Ramos admitted he had received the e-mail notifications for the litigation but claimed he only became aware of them after conducting further research of his e-mail account and submitting the correct e-mail address to the clerk’s office. Ramos stated he began drafting the motion for reconsideration prior to this realization, but due to an undisclosed personal difficulty, he failed to update the motion to reflect his knowledge of the e-mails. Ramos maintained his statements to the court regarding his lack of e-mail notification were not knowing or intentional misrepresentations. He also requested the Chief Judge of the Northern District of Texas convene a three-judge panel pursuant to Local Civil Rule 83.8(h)(3) to make any final determination concerning possible discipline. The district court determined Ramos’s Verified Response raised additional concerns for why disciplinary action should be considered and created a separate miscellaneous matter to address this issue.

On February 8, 2016, the district court entered an order in the separate cause setting forth its basis for concern over Ramos’s actions. The district court concluded that Ramos’s (1) failure to comply with Rule 83.13(b), even if based on his staff’s errors, demonstrated his inability to conduct litigation properly, (2) acknowledged lack of receipt of electronic notice also demonstrated his inability to conduct litigation properly, (3) failure to read court e-mails and to file a truthful motion due to distractions in his personal life is unethical conduct that is unbecoming a member of the bar, and (4) request for a three-judge panel to hear any disciplinary action against him was a further indication of Ramos’s inability to conduct litigation properly. Although the district court noted Ramos took several mitigating steps,[2] the court found them to be unpersuasive and inferred Ramos’s actions were merely used to hide his mistake from his client. Before ruling definitively on the disciplinary action, the district court deemed it appropriate to provide Ramos an additional opportunity to file a written response and to request a hearing before the court.

On February 17, 2016, Ramos filed his latest response with his and his client’s declarations attached. Ramos claimed that his errors and omissions in the underlying action were the result of inexperience and poor business practices rather than deceitful or intentional conduct. In his declaration, Ramos noted that he sought the assistance of a solo-practice management expert to review his “client intake, case correspondence, and services-planning protocols to assure errors and lack of oversight and redundancy . . . do not occur again.” Based on these factors and the fact he fully explained the matter to his client, Ramos argued he lacked “the bad faith element necessary for severe sanctions such as suspension or disbarment . . . .” He also communicated a willingness to attend any CLE or other education programs the court deemed necessary to improve his law practice. Upon review of Ramos’s response, the district court determined a further response was necessary before it could determine what disciplinary action to take. The court ordered Ramos to submit his risk-management plan and a statement from the solo-practice management expert describing the nature of his advice to Ramos no later than March 21, 2016. Both documents were filed under seal.

On March 22, 2016, the district court entered an order suspending Ramos from practicing in the Northern District of Texas for four years.

The Fifth Circuit reduced the suspension to one year, holding that a four-year suspension was too much given the relative lack of experience of the lawyer.

If you have an ethics question, do not hesitate to contact me. 312-357-1515 extension 1.

ARDC Charges Lawyer With Having Staff Member and Colleague Falsely Witness Will

BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD:

The ARDC has filed a complaint alleging that a lawyer visited a client in the hospital and obtained her signature on a will. He then took the will back to the office and had two people affix their signatures as witnesses.

Under Illinois law, the testator and the witnesses have to be in the same room and see each other sign.

After the client died, the lawyer filed the will with the Probate Court. It was there that the fraud was discovered.

The ARDC likes these cases because they are easy to prove. I understand how a lawyer who is hurrying might make a mistake like this.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

‘via Blog this’