Legal Ethics

Ethics Panel Accuses Lawyer of Telling Opposing Counsel He Hopes She Will 'Sleep with the Fishes'

A Minneapolis lawyer who told opposing counsel he hopes she will “sleep with the fishes” should be suspended from practice, according to Minnesota lawyer discipline authorities.

A disciplinary complaint (PDF) accuses lawyer Peter Nickitas of “harassing and bullying” the opposing lawyer, Michelle Hurley, report the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. During an arbitration hearing involving a taxi accident, the complaint says, Nickitas told Hurley she couldn’t read and needed glasses.

The fishes remark came after a second hearing in the case, the complaint says. “As Hurley was about to exit the building, respondent, who was trailing, caught up to Hurley, got in front of her and went nose-to-nose to her and began screaming at Hurley. Respondent had to be pulled away by an associate of his as a bailiff approached,” the complaint claims. Nickitas is also accused of a conflict of interest for representing the taxi company and the driver.

Nickitas denied the bullying allegation in an interview with the Business Journal. He said he was calling out Hurley for making misleading statements.

Hat tip Above the Law.

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