Story Archive

Truth in Advertising

Defense attorney Michael Petersen told a client’s father that he had negotiated a plea agreement for his son. After the son pleaded guilty, though, he found out that there wasn’t actually an agreement. After an investigation, Petersen found himself on the defendant’s side of the table on contempt of court charges for withholding information from the court, and lying to a client about a plea agreement in the criminal case. At his sentencing, Waupaca County (Wisc.) Judge Philip Kirk sentenced Petersen to five days in jail and 12 months probation. He also ordered Petersen’s law firm to return the $5,000 the family had paid for his representation. Then Kirk tore into Petersen with a litany of unprintable comments about his actions. As part of the order, Kirk required Petersen to use the words “crook, thief, and liar” in a disclosure to all clients he deals with during the year’s probation. “I want you to have as much business as a pimp in a nursing home,” Kirk said. (MS/Appleton Post Crescent) ...Shouldn’t those words be in most lawyers’ disclosures?
Original Publication Date: 13 December 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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