Georgia Supreme Court Sentences Probation to Lawyer’s Misconduct in Divorce Trial
Mar 07, 2017 08:30 AM EST
The Supreme Court of Georgia did more than giving reprimand for a misconduct by the lawyer in his divorce case. The court sentenced him a probation for harassing his opposing counsel.
The lawyer, Jack Spain was representing himself in a divorce case in 2015 as reported by Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He harassed his opposing counsel Catherine Sanderson who represented his ex-wife, by sending emails and stalking her.
Within two days, Spain sent harassing emails to Sanderson and he even went further. He stalked her, which made Sanderson feel threatened.
Sanderson was dumbfounded to find her opposing counsel acted that way. She said, “I’ve been practicing law a long time. I’ve never had anybody behave the way he behaved.”
Subsequently, she filed a complaint with the authorities of Spain’s misconduct. As the Lafayette’s sheriff investigated the case, they found sufficient evidence to bring the case to court for two misdemeanor counts, a stalking and harassing communications. The case went to the Lafayette County’s courthouse, where Sanderson practices law as the criminal case.
Furthermore, the Georgia Supreme Court asked the State Bar of Georgia to investigate the case. Following the investigation, the State Bar found evidence of professional misconduct and violation of two OCGA or state’s law. They are the 16-5-90 OCGA for stalking and 188.8.131.52 in form of harassing communication.
Spain admitted his behavior has violated the Bar Rule of professional conduct with the maximum sanction of disbarment, He pled nolo contendere, no contest for the charges at the Supreme Court and requesting a reprimand.
However, Supreme Court of Georgia rejected the proposed sentence. The court considered reprimand as too lenient to him according to report from American Bar Association Journal. The court sentenced him a probation on Feb. 27.
In the court opinion, the judge wrote that State Bar requested a reprimand for Spain. However, considering Spain is a lawyer who practices law, the court considered the reprimand was too lenient.