It’s no secret that lawyers struggle at disproportionate rates with mental-health and substance-abuse issues.  The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being reported in 2017 that in a study of 13,000 practicing lawyers, 28 percent struggled with depression; 19 percent struggled with anxiety; and between 21 and 36 percent qualified as “problem drinkers.”  Most at risk

A New Jersey lawyer was suspended for six months for misrepresenting to clients for about eight years that their arbitration matter “was proceeding apace,” when he actually had never filed their claim.  The lawyer also concealed from his firm for almost two years the malpractice suit that the clients later filed, including the default judgment

The prohibition against aiding clients in carrying out crimes and frauds has been in the news lately, in connection with the quandary that lawyers find themselves in when attempting to help clients in the marijuana industry — whose conduct may be legal under state law, while remaining illegal under federal law. (We’ve blogged about it previously, here and here. ) In this environment, it is useful to consider just what constitutes assisting a client’s crime or fraud, as the Ohio Supreme Court did last week in disbarring a lawyer who helped a divorce client hide assets from her spouse.
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