July 09, 2020 Top Story

Attorney Fined for Causing Mistrial

The price of violating the ethics rules was the entire cost of the trial

By Katherine G. Vazquez

An attorney’s inability to explain his large bills, coupled with prior discipline for overbilling and his lack of remorse, was enough to warrant disbarment. The state supreme court ruling serves as a stark warning to attorneys to substantiate their bills. ABA Section of Litigation leaders say this is a reminder to be proficient and prudent when informing clients of anticipated costs of litigation, and to execute only those services necessary and required to reach the client’s objective.

The attorney's dishonesty led to fines of nearly $5,000.

The attorney's dishonesty led to fines of nearly $5,000.

Credit: Feodora Chiosea | iStockphoto by Getty Images

Defense Attorney Represented Prosecution Witness

In In re: Contempt of Court, Appeal of: Richard J. McCague, a Pennsylvania attorney represented a defendant at trial for approximately two months. After the prosecutor completed direct examination of a key witness, but before cross-examination, the defense attorney informed the court that he represented that key witness on a different case. The attorney admitted to getting involved in the case through the representation of the witness.

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