Our condo president suspended by bar association

larrymondelloMarch 11, 2009

Our condo president was suspended by the state bar association for withholding $1,000 from a client (completely unrelated to the condominium business).Knowing that the owner is not completely honest should the owner remain as president?I am probably the only one who knows about this,should i make it known?anomously?after all i am going to have to live with this person and i do not want to be sued for libel or slander.

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I personally would not just go by what you heard about the bar assoc's actions. You know (?) nothing about the case in question, and have had (?) no reason to believe there's been any wrongdoing at your condo. You don't know in fact if the man is 'completely honest' or not at all, and in fact, it doesn't sound like a matter of 'honesty' but one in which money was withheld, for reasons you know nothing about (again). Just keep your eyes open, maybe relay the information to others on the board and advise them to do the same thing, but in the end what goes on between a lawyer and his clients should have little or no bearing on whether he's doing a good job for your condo and to take any righteous feeling away by 'outing' him may in fact put the condo in a worse position with the 'replacement' being less suitable for all of you.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 4:04PM
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First, I'm no attorney, but libel (written) and slander (verbal) are statements of a false nature. If he was indeed suspended by the bar association then to repeat that simple phrase is not a falsehood. If you were to verbally or in writing embellish any facts or attempt to draw conclusions (not based in fact) surrounding the reason for the suspension, his actions, etc, that could perhaps be construed as libel or slander.

Check the bar association web site for you state, perhaps they publish disciplinary measures taken (so it's public knowledge). You could also check Martindale-Hubbell, which is a peer-to-peer rating system, I've not seen mention of disciplinary action taken on lawyers I've check at MH, but that's not to say it doesn't exist.

My .02: if he was indeed suspended, then a conclusion of wrong doing was made by the Bar Assn., so it's past the rumor or investigative phase and has gone into disciplinary action phase. Guess it's up to you as to your comfort level of accepting it and/or passing the info on.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 8:33PM
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Larry, first of all do you know as a fact that the lawyer has been suspended/disbarred? If this is so, he may not be able to function as the condo president without his credentials. Does he do legal work for the association? Does his signature go on documents? Is he the notary for the association? He may be legally ineligible to perform his duties now due to the disbarment.

Once you know you have the facts in order, the condo association can proceed with enforcing the bylaws governing such a situation and/or vote on the matter.

Don't fret about "libel and slander" suit being brought against you.

Like moonshadow said, facts are not "libel and slander".

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 3:05PM
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The bar association will have a web site where you can confirm the status of a lawyer (ie good standing, suspended, disbarred). It varies from state to state, but suspended is temporary (a month or more), but disbarred is permanent.

For a sole practitioner, it can be easy to become disorganized and lose track of client funds held in trust. So the guy may not be a crook even if he is suspended for a few months. Disbarment is for much more serious problems.

That said, I would not want someone who has been suspended to be in charge of my money.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:40AM
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Is this gentleman in a position that requires him to be a lawyer?

Are people in his position required to provide a background check for items such as suspensions from bar associations?

If the answer to those two questions is no, than this is no concern of the association or any of it's members.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:10PM
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