Legal Ethics

Oops. Attorney's 'Staff Error' Excuse Gets Him in More Trouble, Since He Didn't Have Any Staff

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A Rhode Island attorney has been ordered to perform 20 hours of pro bono legal work in family court guardianship matters to resolve a legal ethics case.

It began with a billing dispute concerning several family court guardianship cases for children in the same family, the Rhode Island Supreme Court explains in a written opinion (PDF).

Milan Azar, a 29-year practitioner who works exclusively on family court matters, blamed the issue on “staff error.” But further investigation revealed that he didn’t have any staff, the opinion notes.

Azar said he’d made the excuse because he was embarrassed.

He had no prior attorney disciplinary history and was remorseful and had accepted responsibility for his conduct, the supreme court said.

He has one year to complete the 20 hours of pro bono work, after which the disciplinary case will be dismissed without any further order.

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

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