Now THESE Are Unethical University Administrators…

Harvard_ShieldHarvard University police say that an investigation revealed that former Harvard Law School administrators Meg DeMarco, 33, and Darris Saylors, 32, stole about $110,000  from a university account that exists to  to assist  students with disabilities. 

 

The investigation commenced in November 2013 when a new budget manager at the law school noticed some accounting discrepancies.  DeMarco and Saylors then resigned from their positions at the Dean of Students office. The ensuing inquiry revealed that the two had taken money out of the  fund to  buy dozens of laptops, iPads, iPods and other electronics, which police traced to  DeMarco’s home and Saylors’ apartment, but also to the homes of Saylors’ friends and family in California, Washington and Tennessee.  DeMarco used a mobile card reader to deposit school money directly into her banking account. In addition to the electronics, Saylors used Amazon to buy purses, clothing, jewelry, and even sex toys.

The Law School announced that “As a result of this matter, the Law School implemented additional layers of controls governing the use of its credit accounts and purchasing protocols.”

What a good idea! Continue reading

Update: Astoundingly Unethical Lawyer-Hypnotist In Prison, And Disbarred.

Good.

Fine on the way to prison, where he will be hypnotized and will spend his 12-year sentence thinking he's a chicken...

Fine on the way to prison, where he will be hypnotized and will spend his 12-year sentence thinking he’s a chicken…

I hadn’t followed the story of Michael Fine since I wrote about him in 2014. This was the Sheffield, Ohio lawyer who hypnotized female clients so he could sexually molest them. When I wrote the post, two victims had been identified. The final tally was six, and there may have been more.

In September of 2015, Fine pleaded guilty to five counts of kidnapping and one count of attempted kidnapping.  He admitted to using his skill in  hypnosis to control the female clients, forcing them submit his sexual desires against their conscious will. Last week, Fine was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He had already been permanently disbarred by the Ohio Bar. Fine was not a licensed hypnotist, but needless to say, he was an unethical hypnotist too.

Judge Patricia Cosgrove told Fine at his sentencing, “At the lowest point in their lives when they came to you for help in the throes of painful divorces and custody battles, you took advantage of them. You took advantage of their trust and faith in you by sexually abusing them. You deserve to be punished.”

Ya think?

When I mentioned this case in some 2015 legal ethics seminars, many lawyers refused to believe it. I even lost a law firm client because one lawyer complained that I showed insensitivity by making a mild joke about the story, which did and does remind me of something out of a bad Adam Sandler movie.  It is the strangest example of unethical lawyering I have encountered, but I am confident that a stranger one will appear eventually.

________________________

Pointer: Fred

Ethics Hero : Don Huber

George Williams, finally free and on his way. If only I used barbers...

George Williams, finally free and on his way. If only I used barbers…unfortunately, that requires hair…

Here in Virginia, we are debating Governor Terry McAuliffe’s decision to let felons be jurors and to vote for Hillary Clinton (for whom they are are presumed to have natural affinity, as well as for Governor McAuliffe himself, perhaps), but nobody would begrudge them the chance to be barbers.

That’s what George Williams is about to be: a barber. He just graduated from Tribeca Barber School in Lower Manhattan, and  will soon face state examiners to qualify for his New York barber’s license. He almost didn’t make it.

As he was about to be released four years ago from the infamous  Attica Correctional Facility where he was serving  his two- to four-year sentence for robbing a pair of Manhattan jewelry stores, a gang of prison guards brutally attacked and beat him. Williams had both legs and his collarbone broken, and a fractured eye socket  Doctors placed screws into one leg to hold the bones together.

Disgustingly, prosecutors allowed the guards involved to exchange a guilty plea to a lesser charge for a punishment that included no prison time. Here was their primary penalty: they can’t be prison guards any more. Funny, I would think that would be automatic, plea or no plea, when you beat prisoners half to death.

The story of George Williams’ beating and the ridiculously, suspiciously lenient sentences received by his state-paid muggers was one of the nightmarish Tales From The Dark Side of the Justice System in a front page of a The New York Times story about The Marshall Project. Williams was quoted as saying that he still  headaches and nightmares from the attack but was trying to save the $2,600 barber school tuition to start a new life as a law-abiding tonsorialist.

27-year-old United States Army specialist, Don Huber read the article while stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. He had been raised in Attica, New York, and had just finished serving nine months  in Afghanistan with the First Infantry Division.

Huber was moved William’s plight and bothered by the bad reputation the incident  gave his community. Huber had gone to high school with one of the guards who beat Williams, but had never met George. Still, Huber organized an online fundraising campaign to raise at least $2,600 to help the ex-prisoner get on with his life. The campaign quickly received $5,800 through more than 70 donations. Continue reading

Unethical Website Of The Month: The Daily Beast

Broken Glass

On the Daily Beast’s “Cheat Sheet,” a list of short summaries of breaking news stories with links to other sources, the feature’s editor appends, above the headline, a brief comment, reaction or description. “Arson Suspected in CA. Mosque Fire” is under the Daily Beast’s “HORRIBLE.” “BUSTED” is the lead-in to “Ex-NY Senate Leader Guilty of Corruption.”

And the heading over “Anonymous: We Hacked a Trump Website”?

“WELL DONE”

WELL DONE!

Hold opinions that the almighty Daily Beast, in its infinite, Hillary Clinton-worshiping, Barack Obama-excusing wisdom thinks is unacceptable, and you deserve to be the victim of a crime, and The Daily Beast will salute the criminal. That’ll teach you, and others like you….anyone whose opinion doesn’t sufficiently conform to progressive cant, apparently…to toe the line.

WELL DONE.

What utter, low, despicable hypocrisy by the Daily Beast, which has joined the rest of the liberal echo chamber in comparing Trump to various Nazis, as they endorse the political tactics of Kristallnacht, destroying property to reflect official contempt and disapproval. Anonymous is a criminal group, and hacking a business website is a criminal act, the cyber-equivilent of breakiung windows and vandalizing store fronts.

WELL DONE?

Check this blog under “Donald Trump.” Nobody has expressed more contempt for the man than I, beginning years ago. He has not broken laws, however, and his offensive positions are well within constitutional limits.  Donald Trump, moreover, doesn’t hide behind fake names and masks, while Anonymous, in contrast, is a bunch of cowardly, lawless, arrogant thugs. It isn’t Donald Trump but The Daily Beast who is applauding a criminal response to mere political speech, and in doing so adopting the ethics of the Brown Shirts.

WELL DONE.

Now we know.

Unethical Quote of the Month: Jeb Bush

Well , there goes the "smart Bush" theory...

Well , there goes the “smart Bush” theory…

“Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love.”

—-Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in comments about illegal immigration delivered at an event the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library,.

The statement by Jeb Bush has its sunny side, I suppose: with any luck, it should ensure that we don’t have a Bush-Clinton contest in 2016. Maybe that was Jeb’s intent. Otherwise, his comments are irresponsible attacks on the rule of law, common sense, fairness and national sovereignty.

The whole, mush-headed, contradictory, absurd quote:

“There are means by which we can control our border better than we have. And there should be penalties for breaking the law.But the way I look at this — and I’m going to say this, and it’ll be on tape and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their families — the dad who loved their children — was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table. And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.”

Seriously, Governor?

Continue reading

Now THAT’S An Unethical Lawsuit!

"All right, sir---put down the sneakers and come out with your hands up..."

“All right, sir—put down the sneakers and come out with your hands up…”

Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution inmate Sirgeorgio Clardy should probably forget his aspirations of becoming a jailhouse lawyer, if his first effort is any indication.

Sirgiorgio, an aptly named pimp, is in stir because, among other things, he brutally stomped the face of a john who was trying to leave a Portland hotel without paying Clardy’s prostitute. Jurors found him guilty of second-degree assault for using his Air Jordans as a dangerous weapon to beat the john’s face to a pulp. Now the 26-year-old pimp turned prisoner turned pro se litigant has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Nike, the maker of the Jordans, claiming the shoe manufacturer shares responsibility for the assault that was among the crimes that drew him a 100-year prison sentence. (The jury also found him guilty of robbing the man he beat and  beating the 18-year-old girl he forced to work as his prostitute. This is not, I think it is safe to say, a nice guy.)

Clardy’s creative lawsuit claims Nike breached its duty to place a label on his athletic shoes warning purchasers that they could be used as a dangerous weapon, because, I guess, the evil shoes made him do it. Or, in the alternative, he had no idea that repeatedly slamming his foot down on a man’s head would do any harm. Or something. Basically, he’d just really like a hundred million bucks, and either doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, that he’s making a travesty of the justice system.

I am confident that there is literally no chance such a lawsuit goes to trial; if there is, I am through defending the legal system for good. This is a textbook frivolous lawsuit if brought by a real lawyer, rather than an unrepentant, violent, non-too-swift pimp.  The legal ethics rule that makes such monstrosities an official ethical violation, Rule 3.1, says that…

“A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law.” Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Nicollet County Attorney Michelle Zehnder Fischer

Yes, this is certainly a good use of time, money, and public opprobrium.

The evil miscreant, facing her just desserts!

The evil miscreant, facing her just desserts!

An 86-year-old woman in Minnesota, Margaret Schneider, admits that she voted twice in a primary election, and attributes it to confusion, a memory lapse (she may have early dementia), and maybe believing that her later vote would cancel out her earlier one. The local Jaubert, prosecutor Michelle Zehnder Fischer, is bringing felony charges against Margaret, supposedly because a statute requires her to do so or risk misdemeanor charges herself.

Did I mention that Margaret, in addition to being 86 and having cognitive issues, suffers from Parkinson’s? Throw the wily old bat in the clink!!!! Continue reading

Cruelty and the Comers: At a Certain Point, Being Nice Just Makes It Worse

Meet the Comers

The nauseating news story of the week comes from L.A., where 18-year-old Mitch Comer was seen looking emaciated and confused in a downtown Greyhound bus station. A hundred pounds and 5’3″ tall, the boy seemed lost, and a security guard questioned him. Comer explained that he had just arrived from Georgia, where he had been imprisoned in his parents’ basement since his father pulled him out of an 8th grade class four years ago. Then, on his 18th birthday, they released the boy, and his stepfather took Mitch to the bus station, where they had a touching goodbye

“The story we got was that the stepfather took the kid to the bus depot, said ‘Here’s $200, here’s a list of the homeless shelters in Los Angeles, you’re a man now and don’t come back,'” said LAPD Commander Andrew Smith. This won Paul and Sheila Comer, who live in an affluent Georgia suburb, child abuse and false imprisonment charges as well as a nomination as 2012’s Monstrous Parents of the Year. Continue reading

Stay Classy, Mr. President: It’s Part of Your Job

Appearing on PBS’s “Inside Washington,” this week, veteran Democratic media cheerleader Mark Shields reached the conclusion that other Beltway pundits on the Left and the Right had reached before him: Democrat  accusations that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pumping foreign contributions into domestic campaign ads, in violation of Federal law, are baseless, and worse.  “It was absolutely fallacious on their part,” said Shields. “And they made it up, the White House did.”

President Obama, in his campaign appearances, has continued to suggest that this illegal tactic is occurring. The facts the accusation is based on was revealed by White House advisor David Axelrod when he repeated the accusation to an incredulous Bob Shieffer on last Sunday’s “Face the Nation” on CBS. Shieffer asked Axelrod if he had any evidence this was true, and Axelrod’s replay was,”Well, do you have any evidence that it’s not, Bob?” He then called upon the Chamber to prove a completely unsubstantiated claim wrong. This is, of course, a small bore version of Adolf Hitler’s unethical “Big Lie” tactic. Hmmmm…where else have I heard this approach used recently? Oh, I remember: “If Barack Obama really is a U.S. citizen, why doesn’t he prove it?” One would think the White House and President Obama would find this tactic beneath them.

The sad fact is that in the past few weeks, almost nothing has been beneath the President’s dignity. Continue reading