Friday, May 04, 2007

Warning on those bar recommendations!

To all OOTJ readers who are asked to write recommendations for new admittees to the bar, take heed! In Massachusetts, at least, you need to be careful whom and how you recommend. Follow the rule to write only what you know, absolutely, to be true. The link in the title above is to a Boston Globe story about a lawyer called for discipline by for the Board of Bar Overseers, because he wrote a recommendation for a fellow whom he assumed (wrongly) to have completed his JD. Sascha Pfeiffer writes, the Supreme Judicial Court took pity on the poor lawyer:

Saying that Evan M. Slavitt was "duped by an imposter" when he recommended for bar admission a man who turned out not to have a law license, the state's highest court yesterday explained why it reduced the time Slavitt -- a former federal prosecutor and 2002 Republican candidate for attorney general -- was suspended from practicing law from one year to two months.

According to the Supreme Judicial Court opinion, Slavitt did not, as the Board of Bar Overseers concluded, make a false or misleading statement when he swore that he did not realize Douglas Fineberg was not a licensed lawyer when he wrote a letter recommending Fineberg for admission to the Massachusetts bar.

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