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Book Recounts Lawyer Misdemeanors

Posted October. 26, 2006 06:58,   


A lawyer, “A,” accepted a case of a defendant charged with fraud in 1999. The client reached a consensual agreement with the plaintiff and handed the signed documents saying the plaintiff dropping the charges to the lawyer. However, he somehow failed to deliver it to the judge. The client was convicted and sentenced for one year in jail.

When the client petitioned to the prosecution, the lawyer promised to give 80 million won in compensation, but delayed reimbursement except for two million. The client filed a lawsuit, and the court ordered the lawyer to pay 72.9 million, but he failed to observe it. In the end, he received two-year suspension of his bar license from Korean Bar Association.

Another lawyer, “B,” received 30.9 million won in retainer from his client on a real estate case. The client wanted his property protected from compulsory disposal. The lawyer did nothing to that end, however, leaving the property go under auction. The lawyer did not refund not only the retainer but also the legal fee of two million won even after the client canceled counsel appointment. He incurred one-year disciplinary suspension.

These are some of the examples of corrupted lawyers presented in the “disciplinary case book,” which contains 99 cases of disciplinary punishment from 2002 to 2005 by The Korean Bar Association.

Thirty cases, the most frequent, are about lawyers who collected cases through a paralegal and paid broker fee. There were nine negligent representation cases, and eight cases for advance payment and failure to submit power of attorney, respectively.

A lawyer “C” represented a defendant whose case was investigated by himself when he was a prosecutor. C was fined two million won. There were two other similar cases.

Not a few lawyers were disciplined for disgracing the profession. One gambled for five times with some $1.23 million at a hotel casino in Manila, the Philippines, and another paid for sex with a minor. One who sneaked a cell phone into a detention center to let the inmate make a phone call was fined three million one.

The publication is part of the association’s effort for self-discipline.

“We will not be able to ensure public trust and authority of legal profession without stricter principles in disciplinary actions,” said the chairman of the Association at the preface.