Misbehaving lawyers

Prosecutors--Acting Out

Surprisingly, our colleagues in the prosecutor's office are at it again--breaking the law and generally causing a ruckus wherever they go.  Here's the latest:

I'm beginning to think that they'll never learn.  If only they'd act like their colleagues in the private bar, or at the very least, try to act like the venerable members of the judiciary.

Prosecutors--High as a Kite

It seems that our prosecutorial colleagues are (allegedly of course) drowning their sorrows in the bottle and then hitting the road:

Will they ever learn?  I'm forever hopeful that one day our colleagues who represent the "People" will learn to behave themselves as those of us in the private bar do.  Or, better yet, perhaps they'll model their behavior after that of our honorable judiciary.

Prosecutors Acting Out

It's time for another round up of prosecutors and their misdeeds. Let's get to it:

  • Former prosecutor accused of lying about confession--"Days after DNA testing first cast doubt on Earl Washington Jr.'s guilt, his lawyers say the man who prosecuted him lied to authorities to try to preserve Washington's death sentence...Bennett, now in private practice, has denied under oath doing so. But there is contrary evidence from Virginia Deputy Attorney General John H. McLees Jr., who testified about Bennett in April in a federal suit filed by Washington for his wrongful prosecution."  If the allegations are true, they're certainly not going to help Mr. Bennett's career.
  • County to settle lawsuit over alleged prosecutorial misconduct--"Genzler alleged in a federal lawsuit that former prosecutor Peter Longanbach and a district attorney's investigator, Jeffrey O'Brien, hid or tampered with evidence and suborned perjury to win a conviction at the first trial. Genzler also alleged three supervisors in the district attorney's office, including former District Attorney Paul Pfingst, condoned the alleged unethical conduct. Court documents stated that Genzler previously reached a settlement with Longanbach and O'Brien and dismissed his case against them."  How about that?
  • Prosecutor alleged to have manipulated evidence--"The chief federal judge in Boston is urging the US Justice Department to find out and tell him what happened to an internal investigation of a federal prosecutor accused of withholding evidence in a high-profile Mafia case."  I'm sensing a pattern here, are you?
  • Prosecutor partied with jurors--"Two days before he was confirmed a trial judge, a Cape prosecutor privately partied with the jurors who had delivered him a guilty verdict in the contentious Christa Worthington murder trial...Though not improper - provided Welsh, 41, did not initiate Monday night’s reunion or ask jurors how they arrived at their verdict - one former prosecutor, who spoke on condition of anonymity lest he face soon-to-be Judge Welsh in the future, raised questions about Welsh’s judgment. 'What is this, ‘My Cousin Vinny’?' the prosecutor said. 'You need to maintain a professional distance.'"  Indeed.

Why must they act with such impropriety?  Won't they ever learn to behave as the rest of us in the private bar do?  Or, at the very least, they could try to model their behavior after the honorable judiciary.

Prosecutors--Always In Trouble

Those crazy prosecutors--they're at it again.  Getting arrested, breaking the law and generally misbehaving, as usual:

  • Knives, brass knuckles and guns--Oh my!:"A judge ordered a former prosecutor who stole weapons from this eastern Idaho city's police evidence locker to serve his full one- to five-year prison sentence Tuesday after determining he lied in a plea-bargain deal that would have let him out of jail by Jan. 1."  (Hat tip:  The Legal Reader).
  • Former Colorado  Prosecutor Accused Of Death Threats:  This guy allegedly left a voice mail for his former supervisor at the DA's office and threatened to burn her home to the ground.  He also allegedly told a cop in regard to the DA's office that "I have been having visualizations and fantasies about going postal and killing everyone over there..."  What a sweet talker.
  • Judge sentences US attorney who challenged common police Internet sex sting:  He thought he was chatting with a 14 year old, but unfortunately, it was--oops--a cop.
  • Prosecutor in Clinton/Lewinsky Case Accused of Stalking: Robert W. Ray, the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica S. Lewinsky is accused of stalking a "former girlfriend, a 40-year-old Manhattan woman, filed a complaint that he persisted in sending e-mail and knocking on her door months after she broke off their relationship. Police charged Ray, 46, with a misdemeanor count of stalking in the fourth degree."  Say it ain't so!

Why can't these guys model their behavior after that of their fellow attorneys in the private bar.  Or, at the very least, maybe they can try and act like our honorable judges.

Prosecutors Who Can't Keep Their Hands To Themselves

It's time for the round up of misbehaving prosecutors.  It seems that some of them just can't keep their hands to themselves--allegedly, of course:

  • First, there's the case of a former Harrisburg, Pennsylvania judge, also an ex-prosecutor, who was disbarred and is on 10 years probation after pleading no contest to charges stemming from groping a preteen girl at a concert.   From this article, "Pazuhanich, who attended the concert with his daughter, blamed his problems on alcohol and medication he had been taking."  Notice the absolute failure to accept responsibility for his actions.  Niiice.  (Hat tip:  Legal Reader)
  • Then there's the Olympia, Washington District Attorney accused of sexual harassment by three of his former ADAs.  As reported here, he's accused of making such lovely and oh-so-inappropriate comments as "that woman’s really built" or "she has a set of knockers on her"...or "she was a tall glass of water."  What a charmer!

Too bad these guys didn't model their behavior after their extremely well behaved colleagues in the private bar.  Or, better yet, our esteemed judiciary.

Prosecutors Breaking the Law

Today's round up of  less-than-stellar prosecutors isn't particularly funny.  Sometimes, prosecutors are as human as the rest of us and when they fall, they fall hard.  And, recently, prosecutors have been accused of some pretty awful crimes:

Of course, just like prosecutors, the rest of us lawyers are human and we all make mistakes as well--even our esteemed colleagues on the bench.

Prosecutors--Breaking All the Rules

It's time for another round up of the antics of our favorite kind of lawyer--the out of control prosecutor.

  • Ex-prosecutor and former judge pleads guilty to Money Laundering and Obstruction of Justice charges:  It's a double whammy--a judge and a prosecutor.  Jackpot!  And, his wife is an associate dean of a law school.  Could it get any better?  You betcha!  For some unknown reason, the defendant, Sam Currin, made the unusual tactical move of filing a "16-page affidavit detailing his role in the crimes -- a filing which U.S. District Judge Earl Britt noted was the first he had ever seen as a judge."  How about that?  (Hat tip:  Wall Street Journal Law Blog).
  • Show me the money!:  A chief prosecutor in Oklahoma was charged with embezzling nearly $9,000 seized during 2 drug busts in his District.  At least he didn't steal the drugs.  And at least he wasn't accused of stealing a couple of hundred thousand dollars--like the next wayward prosecutor.
  • Ethics, schmethics:  A former Kentucky prosecutor was recently released from prison after serving nearly ten years for for theft and forgery convictions as a result of his "stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients of his private law practice."   I suppose if you're going to steal, you may as well go for the gusto!

One day, maybe, just maybe, these outlaw prosecutors will learn to behave themselves just like the private bar does.  Or, at the very least, they can aspire to behave as our esteemed judiciary does.

Prosecutors Behaving Badly

They're at it again, those crazy prosecutors.  It's time for another round up of their misdeeds:

  • Prosecutor Caught Having Sex in Restroom Stall at Baseball Field:  It seems that a Seattle prosecutor was arrested and charged with obstruction and trespassing after being ejected from the Qwest Stadium following allegations that he--ahem--"used the facilities" in a rather unusual manner in the company of a lady friend, a paralegal who worked at his office.  From the article:  " Urquhart questioned the attorney's claim that he was simply going to the bathroom. "So why is he using it with another woman in the stall?" he asked."  Good question, Mr. Urquhart.  Good question.  (Hat tip:  the Legal Reader).
  • District Attorney Charged With Hunting Geese During Offseason:  It seems that an Iowa County Attorney had a hankering to shoot some geese, no matter what the time of year.  Or at least, that's the allegation.  His defense?  "That guy over there, you know, my good friend?  He did it."  Nice.  Good thing he's running unopposed in his bid for his third term as county attorney, since I doubt his "friends" will be voting for him.

Once again, I'm forced to wonder why prosecutors can't behave themselves as well as their colleagues in the private bar and, of course, the judiciary--none of whom would ever, for example,  barter drugs or sex for services rendered.

Special Edition News Round Up-Prosecutors Living on the Edge

A plethora of interesting news stories involving prosecutors have emerged over the last week, prompting me to devote an entire post to their antics. 

  • First, there's the case of the naked prosecutor, but the jury is still out, people.  Who knows?  Maybe the AC wasn't working that evening and he was really, really hot (hat tip: The Legal Reader):

      A city prosecutor was charged with indecency after a security camera caught him walking around naked in a government building after business hours...Scott Blauvelt, 35, was arrested Monday and released from jail to await a hearing in Hamilton Municipal Court, where he usually works...A guard monitoring a security camera spotted a nude man investigators identified as Blauvelt in a building that houses county offices the night of Oct. 5, sheriff's Maj. Anthony Dwyer said. The night before, security video had captured Blauvelt naked in another area of the building, where city offices are located, Dwyer said.

  • Then there's the case of the cowboy-hat-wearing-novel-writing-prosecutor who was kicked off of one of her cases after allegations that she revealed more in her novel than just fiction (and make sure to check out the article for the priceless picture of the ADA and snappy snippets from her novel):

      In January, Joyce Dudley, a deputy district attorney in Santa Barbara, published a crime novel called “Intoxicating Agent.” Its heroine, Jordon Danner, has the same initials and the same job as Ms. Dudley, and the novel concerns a rape case with echoes of a real one. In both, the victim said she had been sexually assaulted after being given an intoxicating drug...Acting on a motion from the real defendant in a real rape-by-intoxication case, an appeals court in Ventura, Calif., ruled on Thursday that Ms. Dudley’s novel had crossed an ethical line... “She has a disabling conflict of interest,” Justice Kenneth R. Yegan of the California Court of Appeal wrote of Ms. Dudley for a unanimous three-judge panel.

      Churchill County District Attorney Arthur Mallory claims his financial troubles are behind him after he paid off more than $200,000 in tax liens placed on his property by the Internal Revenue Service, but the liens remain active on public records... The Lahontan Valley News recently learned the total represents unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. Despite Mallory and White's claims that the IRS debt has been paid, liens on both houses remain active on property records in Churchill and Washoe counties as of Wednesday. Mallory says the IRS now owes him a refund of more than $22,000 that will be applied to his 2005 tax return, which has not been filed yet.

Those crazy prosecutors.  When will they learn to behave themselves the way that we defense attorneys do?  Or, the way that judges behave, for that matter.