06 July 2012

Attorney Misconduct: Federal Indictment for Unethical, Illegal Attorney Conduct Includes Obtaining False and Misleading Testimony

Federal Conspiracy, Honest Services Fraud Indictment Includes Violations of Attorney Fiduciary and Legal Duties

Friday Document Dump

Violations of lawyer ethical standards can be used as evidence of criminal conduct, according to records from a U.S. District Court. A federal criminal indictment filed against an attorney in Nevada indicates that violations of professional standards are one component in a criminal prosecution for honest services mail or wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Personal injury attorney Noel Gage was charged in a scheme to defraud clients of the honest services of their attorneys, and obtain the money and property of others by false pretenses, representations, promises, omissions of material fact, and half-truths. The indictment recites the duties owed by an attorney to a client, including providing honest services that are free from self-dealing, corruption, fraud, deceit and conflicts of interest. According to the document, the duties include: 
  • The duty to deal honestly and forthrightly with others in connection with a client's case;
  • The duty to provide honest and independent counsel to clients;
  • The duty to remain free of conflicts of interest with a client; 
  • The duty to act at all times in the best interests of the client; 
  • The duty to disburse money from the proceeds of a client's settlement or judgment honestly and with full disclosure to the client; and 
  • The duty to ensure that others who are employed by the attorney in connection with a client's case comport with the same duties and obligations listed above.     

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