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Monday, December 15, 2014

Lawyer Suspended for Facebook Message

The Kansas Supreme Court has suspended a Kansas City lawyer because of a Facebook message that the court deemed was “emotional blackmail.”  You can read the opinion here: opinion  

The lawyer had represented a biological father opposed to the adoption of his daughter. He posted a message on Facebook to the mother urging her to revoke consent to the adoption to “get rid of the guilt and standup and do what is right.”  The attorney also posted the following:
I can’t begin to explain how beautiful and wonderful parenthood is....I have a little girl myself and she is my world just like you are your dad’s world. [The baby] deserves to know her parents. She deserves to know that you love her and care for her as well. Do not let this opportunity pass you by because you will live with this decision the rest of your life and [the baby] will know someday what happened.
The attorney's Facebook message also included a form for the woman to sign and notarize to revoke the adoption.

His client lost his case, and the adoption was finalized in July 2013.  Subsequently, he was brought up on disciplinary charges for the social media postings.  A hearing panel stated that his “intentional bullying tactics” reflect on his fitness to practice law, and recommended a 60 day suspension.  The board ultimately imposed a six-month suspension.

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