Legal Ethics

Calif. Supremes Reject Recommended Sanction for Lawyer Accused of Smuggling Client Papers

The California Supreme Court has rejected a recommended two-year suspension for a California lawyer accused of smuggling papers out of jail for a murder defendant.

Lorna Brown’s ethics case was among 24 discipline recommendations returned to the state bar last month, the Chauncey Bailey Project reports in a story published by the San Jose Mercury News. The rejected cases suggest the court is taking a tougher stance on ethics.

Brown, a defense lawyer and one-time substitute judge, has said she thought the papers were love letters written by her client Yusuf Bey IV to his common law wife, the story says. Prosecutors say the letters were a hit list of witnesses Bey IV wanted to have killed. Bey IV was convicted for ordering the murder of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey and the slayings of two other men, the Los Angeles Times reported last year.

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