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‘Rogue’ Lawyer Gets 30 Days in Jail After Tape Catches Him Helping Divorce Client Break into Home

Posted Mar 15, 2012 10:57 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A New Mexico divorce lawyer will have to spend 30 days in jail after security tape caught him helping a client break in to her spouse’s home.

Alamogordo lawyer Raymond Van Arnam was sentenced after pleading guilty to four misdemeanors, including trespassing, criminal damage to property and larceny, according to the Alamagordo Daily News and a press release. He will also have to pay $5,000 in restitution and $2,700 in court costs, and perform 100 days of community service.

ABC News, the Huffington Post and KOB.com have portions of the Oct. 28 video showing Van Arnam breaking down the door, hugging his client for nearly 30 seconds, and collecting baby items from the home. Later, he invited in members of his law office staff to help gather items. KOB.com calls Arnam a “rogue” lawyer while the ABC story labels him a “legal Rambo” and “a wild West divorce attorney gone rogue.”

During his sentencing hearing, Van Arnam said his client’s spouse upset him because he had moved another woman into his residence while his wife was pregnant with their child, according to the Alamagordo Daily News. "I was personally angry with what he was doing to my client," he told ABC. "He was bullying her and dominating her."

The press release says Van Arnam had two prior drug convictions. According to the Alamagordo Daily News and ABC, he was previously disbarred, but later had his law license reinstated.

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