A divided Louisiana supreme court disbarred a lawyer opinion who utilized the internet and social media to raise an on-line petition on a matter she litigated and to urge the public to contact two judges (i.e., the judge of the Louisiana proceeding and the one of the Mississippi proceeding).
While the hearing board and the disciplinary board had recommended a one-year suspension, the supreme court said disbarment was warranted. The lawyer in question displayed an “utter lack of remorse” and a “defiant attitude” by asserting her actions had First Amendment protection. The lawyer disseminating false, misleading and inflammatory information on the internet and through social media about the two judges and their handling of pending domestic proceedings in Louisiana and Mississippi. While not having ex parte communication with the judges, she encouraged the public to contact the judges to express their feelings about the cases. Her allegation of First Amendment rights did not persuade the supreme court: “We disagree and take strong exception to respondent’s artful attempt to use the First Amendment as a shield against her clearly and convincingly proven ethical misconduct,”
We reported this case at http://www.technethics.com….
For more information, Nathan M. Crystal