Tags: Gore's | Top | Lawyers | Face | Legal | Complaint

Gore's Top Lawyers Face Legal Complaint

Thursday, 30 November 2000 12:00 AM

In its complaint, NLPC cited recent articles in the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times reporting that Boies and Berger allegedly requested and used an affidavit from an Illinois attorney about the treatment of "dimpled" ballots in an Illinois case and that the affidavit appeared to be false.

The Illinois attorney, according to NLPC, later reportedly corrected the affidavit, but apparently Boies and Berger have not taken remedial action to address the affidavit.

"In order to protect the public, the legal profession and the courts, Boies and Berger should be investigated. Using a false affidavit to influence events in and out of court is an outrage. If that is in fact what an investigation of Boies and Berger finds, then they should be severely disciplined," NLPC Chairman Ken Boehn said in a statement.

NLPC's complaint stated, "Given the attached affidavit and the reported facts in two news articles [Boies and Berger] may have violated and/or may continue to be in violation of the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct."

The rules say: "A lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal, fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel, or permit any witness to offer testimony or other evidence that the lawyers know to be false in the form of a narrative unless so ordered by the tribunal."

The rule concludes, "If a lawyer has offered material evidence and thereafter comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures."

Boehm said: "Conduct like this should not be tolerated. Assuming Boies and Berger first submitted the affidavit believing it was true, they should now take remedial action. And their apparent failure to do so raises serious questions."

The Florida Bar Association had no comment on the complaint.

However, on its Web site the Florida Bar Association said, after a complaint is filed, the matter is reviewed by the bar to determine if it has jurisdiction to investigate the allegations. If the bar determines it has jurisdiction, the inquiry is considered as a complaint and the bar opens a "formal disciplinary file."

Later, the complaint would be referred to a Florida bar grievance committee.

As far as a time frame for an investigation, the Florida bar says: "The length of each investigation depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. Therefore, the time from when the complaint is filed until the time of final decision varies from case to case."

If a lawyer is disciplined in Florida, the punishment can "range from an admonishment to suspension" from practicing law, for "a definite or indefinite period of time, or disbarment."

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In its complaint, NLPC cited recent articles in the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times reporting that Boies and Berger allegedly requested and used an affidavit from an Illinois attorney about the treatment of dimpled ballots in an Illinois case and that the...
Gore's,Top,Lawyers,Face,Legal,Complaint
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2000-00-30
Thursday, 30 November 2000 12:00 AM
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