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Thursday, August 16, 2012

FORMER PROSECUTOR'S "DEVIANT BEHAVIOR" MAY GET HIM SUSPENDED

A former Connecticut prosecutor, David Holzback, who was fired recently due to his secretly filming women's legs in and around the courthouse, may be suspended for his voyeuristic behavior as well. Suzanne Sutton, the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Connecticut, is asking for Holzback's license to be suspended immediately on an interim basis. In support of her request, she states, "[Holzback} cannot be trusted to avoid voyeurism of prospective clients, witnesses or other counsel" and "[he] poses a substantial threat of irreparable harm to his clients or prospective clients" because he "cannot control his deviant behavior as is evident by the long history of behavior and prior reprimands associated with this behavior."
It is alleged that Holzback used a "spy pen" to film females at the courthouse without their permission. He was previously reprimanded by the prosecutor's office twice before - in 1992 for filming courthouse staff in the hallways, offices, and parking lot as well as in 2006 for taking photos of a female intern in the prosecutor's office.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

SEX WITH JAILED CLIENT LEADS TO ARREST

Curtis Cannon, a Nevada attorney, has been charged with a felony count of voluntary sexual conduct between a prisoner and another person, according to the Las Vegas Sun, after being caught on tape performing sexual acts.  The alleged incident happened in the Clark County Detention Center.  Detectives with the Metro Police initiated an investigation into Cannon's behavior with female clients after receiving numerous complaints about his alleged misconduct with female inmates.  The Metro Police installed a camera in a detention visiting room which only recorded video so that it did not violate attorney-client confidentiality.  The video showed his client, Crystal Wallis, groping Cannon's groin and apparently performing oral sex on him.  Afterwards, both Wallis and Cannon admitted to the act when questioned.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TAKING CLIENT'S KIDS FOR A RIDE LEADS TO SUSPENSION

Indiana Attorney, Cecelia Hemphill, was suspended 6 months for taking a client's children for a ride without alerting the children's mother.  Hemphill, believed that the mother's boyfriend had molested one of the children and that the children were in grave danger.  The daughter, claimed that the mother's boyfriend had touched her inappropriately. 

Since Hemphill wanted to talk to the children alone, she had the father write a note to the principal of the children's school stating she had permission to pick the children up from school.  Hemphill, was questioned by the secretary of the school but was eventually was allowed to pick the children up early from school.  Hemphill then called the children's sitter and told her that she (Hemphill) had the children and that they were going to meet with the father for dinner. During this time, Hemphill questioned the children about the possible molestation but it was never mentioned.  After dinner with their father, Hemphill continued to drive them around for a few hours before returning them (after 6 hours) to their mother, who had working with the Sheriff's department to find them. 

Indiana's Supreme Court Disciplinary Committee charged Hemphill with violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 4.1.(a) [Knowingly making a false statement of material fact to a third person in the course of representing a client], 4.4(a) [Using means in representing a client that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person], 8.4(a) [Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation], and 8.4(d) [Engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice].

The Supreme Court of Indiana held that the Commission failed to met the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence regarding Rules 4.1(a) and 8.4(a).  Regarding violating Rule 4.4(a), the Supreme Court sated that "[B]y intimidating the school secretary into releasing the children to [her] and by causing Mother great anxiety over their safety, [Hemphill] used means that had no substantial purpose other than to burden third persons in violation Professional Conduct Rule 4.4(a)."  The Court stated that Hemphill's purposes could have been accomplished by more appropriate means.  Finally, with regards to Rule 8.4(d), the Court felt that by failing to abide by the orders and procedures of the divorce court and the child protective services and by only using her own judgement instead that of the courts and child protective services, Hemphill engaged in conduct that was prejudicial to the administration of justice.  Hemphill took matters in her own hands while ignoring the laws and agencies that are designed to deal with allegations of child abuse. 

The Supreme Court suspended Hemphill from practicing for 6 months without automatic reinstatement.