You Be the Ethics Board

Illinois lawyer Loren Friedman changed the Bs and Cs on his law-school transcript to As and Bs and landed a summer associate job at Sidley Austin, the large corporate Chicago law firm.  Years later, when Friedman was working as an associate in a firm in New York, Sidley Austin discovered the lie.  Friedman admitted his fraud to the Illinois bar, which may have remembered that Friedman previously admitted failing to disclose flunking out of medical school on his law school applications.  In deciding the fate of his license to practice the Illinois bar knew Friedman to be a serial liar.  The board hearing Friedman’s case decided to suspend his license for three years.  The attorney-discipline agency appealed, seeking permanent suspension.  The Illinois Ethics (there’s an oxymoron) Review Board just decided Friedman’s appeal.  The result?   Read the comments below or this article to find out.

4 thoughts on “You Be the Ethics Board”

  1. "Based on his sincere remorse and his acceptance of responsibility for his actions" the ethics board suspend Friedman's license to practice for 18 months. Remorse at being caught, maybe. He should have been permanently disbarred.

    1. "John Levi, a Sidley partner who helps supervise recruiting, testified that there was "no way in the world" Sidley would have extended Friedman an offer if they'd known his real grades."-From a related article

      Yes, he should have been permanently disbarred. He only accepted "responsibility for his actions" because the irresponsible nature of his actions was brought to light. He didn't voluntarily accept responsibility for his actions. When one is caught red handed, one is forced to accept the responsibility of his or her actions. There was clearly nothing genuine about his "sincere remorse".

  2. The article at least offers no proof that Friedman is a serial liar. Obviously he has made a great many mistakes, and has in the past lied to cover them up, but that does not seem to necessarily mean that he is incapable of controlling the impulse to lie. If he really has felt genuine remorse, and has committed himself to moving forwards honestly, perhaps he should be allowed to remain, especially if his performance supports this fact. After all he did graduate law school.

    Are we to say that every lawyer who is found to have committed a minor violation of the law (perhaps speeding for example), should be permanently disbarred?

    1. Friedman's career was based on a gross lie and a contractual violation [with Sidley Austin].

      The precedent that the committee is setting by merely suspending him is outrageous. Law students may now reasonably assume that lying to get a job merely warrants a slap on the wrist. You must look at the possible ripple effect.

      Also, we're not talking about a lawyer who committed a minor violation of the law. We're talking about a lawyer who committed an infraction contradicting the merits he claimed to have when he ACCEPTED a license to practice law. It's a privilege that one accepts in return for assuring the state bar association that one is [morally and otherwise] responsible enough.

      straight out of the Illinois State Rules on Admission & Discipline of Attorneys:

      Rule 708. Committee on Character and Fitness (C) (4) …"the ability to conduct oneself with a high degree of honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness in all professional relationships and with respect to all legal obligations;…"

      http://www.state.il.us/court/SupremeCourt/Rules/A

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