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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"SLUT" COMMENT LEADS TO SUSPENSION

An Arizona attorney, Meyer Ziman, has been suspended for violating a number of Arizona rules, one of which was quite interesting.  Ziman, who has been practicing since 1970, contacted a medical file copying service in June 2010 to complain that he had received the wrong medical file and request the correct one.  The woman, Ms. Rascon, he spoke with told him that he would need to resubmit his request, which angered Ziman and he began to berate her.  Ms. Rascon told him in the future to only contact Ms. Hudson, which only infuriated Ziman more because, as he stated, "everyone tells him to call back to speak to someone else."  After Ziman finished yelling a string of expletives at Ms. Rascon, he hung up.  Later in June, Ziman contacted Ms. Hudson to express his frustration that he had requested medical records for his clients but only received records for the client's son.  Ms. Hudson asked him to re-fax the request and she would look into it.  Ziman began yelling expletives at her to which she responded by stating, "excuse me but you are talking to a lady."Ziman responded that she was not a lady and "was nothing but a slut who worked for a copy service."  Ziman then repeated the word "slut" slowly to make sure Ms. Hudson heard him. 

In finding that Ziman violated Rule 42, Ariz.R.Sup.Ct., specifically Rule 31(a)(2)(E) and Rule 41(g), failing to refrain from engaging in unprofessional and offensive conduct by adhering to the provisions set forth in the Supreme Court Rules, the Panel noted that Ziman's testimony was implausible.  After first testifying that he had no recollection of the alleged phone call, he than testified with a vivid recollection of the call and stated he said "slug", not "slut", to refer to the process being slow, sluggish and cumbersome.  He also testified that he believed that it was not inappropriate to use either "slut" or "slug" in a business setting.  The Panel, however, disagreed and in conjunction with other violations of the Rules, Ziman was suspended for 1 year and given 2 years probation after his reinstatement. 

The opinion can be found here.

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