Let’s talk lawyers behaving badly in an all-new Facepalm!
First, we have attorney Jason R. Buckley, who recently had his Maine law license suspended for a year after claiming he attended two online CLE programs, or Continuing Legal Education programs, at the exact same time. Buckley, who was trying to get his license reinstated after an administrative hold, decided to try and pull off the ol’ double-dip by watching one live event on his iPad and the other on his laptop. Not realizing that CLE credits are actually an important part of maintaining a lawyer’s knowledge and understanding of current events, he was determined to treat the courses like watching two ballgames simultaneously at Buffalo Wild Wings. If trying to be in two places at once sounds familiar, that’s the signature move of one Fred Flintstone. It didn’t work out for Mr. Flintstone, and it didn’t work out for Mr. Buckley. To the Supreme Court of Maine, trying to game your CLE credits is a yabba-dabba-don’t. (Sorry, that was a bad pun, even for me).
Next, Ben Franklin said the only two things in life that are certain are death and taxes. I’ll add one more—people trying to avoid their taxes. Florida attorney Charles Behm was disbarred for some clever—you might even say philosophical—bookkeeping. Florida’s very own John Locke claimed his social contract didn’t include taxes. Instead, he said he did not actually produce any income from his legal practice, but had traded his time for its equal value in money. Behm claimed, without a shred of authority backing it up, that he “derived no net gain from the practice of law because his time was his life capital and, in practicing law, he was trading his life capital for an hourly fee, both of equal value. Thus, he realized no profit or net income from these transactions.” He also claimed that, “in good faith,” he didn’t realize that this was an uncommonly stupid explanation, and that he was therefore the only person in the entire country who didn’t know he had to pay taxes. If this sounds familiar, it was the signature move of one Al Capone, who also tried convincing the government that he couldn’t be taxed either, and that he didn’t mean any harm when he didn’t. Well, it didn’t work out for Mr. Capone, and it didn’t work out for Mr. Behm.
The moral of today’s stories, somehow lost on these lawyers: lying = bad.