Brief Fact Summary. Respondent attorney not only advised his client to comply with extortion demands made by a union boss, but acted as an intermediary to ensure that the payments were made.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Attorneys may not condone nor act as intermediaries for the extortion of their clients.
Issue. Was the Respondent’s conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice?
Held. Yes, Respondent had an absolute duty to report the threats. Suspended for one year.
Discussion. Although the Respondent certainly had a legal duty to report the extortion threats, there seems to be a legitimate argument here that his compliance with the demands was carried out due to a reasonable fear for the safety of his client, himself, and his son. Should the court have given this more weight?.