For those of you not familiar with the column, in the famous “Red Dot” episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza had sex in his office with a character known only as “the cleaning woman.” His boss found out. Here’s their ensuing exchange :
(Scene) In the boss’ office.
- Boss: I’m going to get right to the point. It has come to my attention that you and the cleaning woman have engaged in sexual intercourse on the desk in your office. Is that correct?
- George: Who said that?
- Boss: She did.
- George: Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ingnorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I’ve worked in a lot of offices and I tell you people do that all the time.
- Boss: You’re fired.
- George: Well you didn’t have to say it like that.
Costanza’s response served as my inspiration for a semi-regular Was That Wrong? column on the blog. The column features stories of the absurd & outrageous from the world of legal ethics and attorney discipline, highlighting misconduct that I hope you’ll instinctively avoid without needing a CLE that urges you to do so. To date, I’ve covered conspiring with police to set up opposing counsel for DUI and bringing a gun to your disciplinary hearing, and sexting a client.
In April 2010, Todd Macaluso filed a motion to withdraw from Casey Anthony’s defense team. Per the State Bar of California’s records, Macaluso was ordered to inactive status on April 26, 2010. In October 2015 he was placed on an interim suspension as a result of a conviction. He was disbarred in November 2016. This press release outlines the plea deal that resulted Macaluso’s conviction.
This isn’t how it happened, but in my imaginary, Seinfeld-inspired tv show that focuses on the wild world of attorney discipline:
- State Bar: We’re going to get right to the point. It has come to our attention that you entered into funding agreements that put your clients’ personal injury cases up as collateral without their knowledge or consent. And, also, that you defrauded investors by using forged documents to convince them to advance millions of dollars.
- Attorney: Who said that?
- State Bar: The U.S. Attorney told us you pled guilty to the charges.
- Attorney: Was that wrong? Should I have not done that?
- State Bar: Disbarred.
- Attorney: Well you didn’t have to say it like that.
Interestingly, at least from the point of view as a blogger, the story doesn’t end there. As Paul Harvey would say, and now, the rest of the story . . .
. . . Macaluso was back in the news in this week. He’s alleged to have plotted to smuggle 1500 kilograms of cocaine into the country.