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Legal Ethics

Bar Judge Recommends Disbarment for ‘Gladiator’ Lawyer

Posted Dec 13, 2007 9:46 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A California bar court judge is recommending disbarment for a lawyer accused of filing frivolous actions and meritless appeals against judges who ruled against him.

Beverly Hills lawyer Richard Isaac Fine calls the charges “totally ridiculous” and says they are a product of politics, the California Bar Journal reports. He plans an appeal.

Judge Richard Honn denied Fine’s motions to set aside or stay his disbarment recommendation in late October, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports. Honn's opinion takes Fine to task for appeals and motions that the judge said were designed to harass the judges who ruled against him.

Fine “played the courts like a bully in a child’s game of dodgeball—retaliating by aggressively throwing the ball back at those who just knocked him out of the center,” Honn wrote. “But what may have started out as a game soon escalated into a war, with meritless litigation tactics as the primary weapons. … In [Fine’s] world, he became a gladiator, waging battle by whatever means he could muster, irrespective of his ethical duties.”

In one case, Honn wrote, Fine embarked on “a litigation rampage” against a judge who ruled against him.

A hat tip to Blogonaut, which posted the bar journal story.

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