Legal Ethics

Divorce attorney who helped client break into spouse's home loses law license for 2 years

A New Mexico divorce attorney who made headlines after being caught on a surveillance video helping a matrimonial client break into the home of her estranged husband has had his law license suspended for two years.

Raymond T. Van Arnam, 61, will also have to undergo a psychological examination before he is readmitted, the Alamogordo Daily News reports.

His lawyer, Todd Holmes, called Van Arnam a dedicated, hardworking lawyer who let his emotions get the best of him during the October 2011 incident.

“I believe New Mexico and Otero County have lost a talented, great, aggressive and passionate attorney,” Holmes said. “Ray really did passionately represent his clients, especially females in divorce matters. He had a lot of compassion for his client, Melissa A. Stonecipher. … The whole purpose was to get the baby items and some medications.”

Stonecipher’s estranged husband, Anthony, left the home with a roommate from the rear as the lawyer and client approached from the front. A video linked to an ABC News article about the fray includes a subsequent driveway confrontation between the lawyer and Anthony Stonecipher and says Van Arnam took legal papers off a desk during the entry into his home.

Watch More News Videos at ABC | Technology News | Celebrity News

Earlier coverage: “‘Rogue’ Lawyer Gets 30 Days in Jail After Tape Catches Him Helping Divorce Client Break into Home”

Untitled Document

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.