Originally published 27/01/2011
Mr. David Cameron Carr -- an expert in the area of legal ethics and the current President of the California-based Association of Discipline Defense Counsel -- has publicly criticized the State Bar of California, Howard Rice's Jerome Falk, as well as Thomas Girardi and Howard Miller, over the handling of disciplinary proceedings concerning misconduct by Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack in the litigation against Dole Food Company.
Mr David Cameron Carr, believes that "all lawyers must understand the rules of legal ethics, not only to fulfill their responsibilities to society and to the justice system, but to protect themselves."
(Photo credit: www.123people.com )
In a shocking move, Mr. Carr -– a former California State Bar prosecutor –- offered a stinging rebuke to Jerome Falk's decision not to pursue any discipline against Girardi and Lack despite the clear findings of misconduct on their part by the Ninth Circuit.
Previously, in a rare action, the Ninth Circuit suspended Walter Lack and Paul Triana of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack for 6 months, and reprimanded Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese, while imposing close to $400,000 in monetary sanctions.
Specifically, the Ninth Circuit found that the misconduct by Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi involved "the persistent use of known falsehoods," and that the "false representations" were made "knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly."
Carr, writing on his blog http://www.ethics-lawyer.com/kafkaesq/ in an entry labeled "It is Good to Be King," wrote as follows on January 21, 2011:
"It’s hard to escape the troubling thought that, had Mr. Girardi and Mr. Lack been different lawyers with no connection to the State Bar like Howard Miller, the process and perhaps even the result would have been much different."
Mr. Carr offered legal analysis, referring to “Bus. & Prof. Code section 6068(d) (codifying lawyer’s duty not ‘to seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law.’). As a matter of law, this, most assuredly, would warrant the imposition of discipline in California." Mr. Carr continued, noting that "the lack of intent to mislead the court doesn’t seem to matter for culpability purposes in State Bar Court."
In his conclusion, Carr stated:
"As a discipline defender, I am not inclined to second guess a decision not to prosecute a discipline case. And I don’t know all the facts that went into Mr. Falk’s exercise of discretion; he isn’t talking and neither is the State Bar. But I do know, now as ever, it is good to be king. Or at least very close to one. Very very good."
According to confidental sources , Mr. Carr should be commended for his courage in speaking up, as well as his intellectual honesty and integrity – the defining traits of a good lawyer.
One confidential source believe, however, that some of Mr. Carr’s comments regarding "intent" are superfluous as Walter Lack had stipulated that his misconduct was “intentional.”