Date : 12-08-2008
Lawyer Faces Sanctions for Informing Client About Documents
On Tuesday, attorney Joanna Mendoza was faced with sanctions affirmed by California's 3rd District Court of Appeal totaling nearly $44,000. In her ongoing case of Wallis v. PHL Associates, she revealed to her client, Dale Wallis, that a document containing confidential information, that was filed under seal, was in fact in a public file. Mendoza maintains she acted ethically and broke no protective order. Though she admits that more than a quarter of the pages in the document are marked as confidential, she asserts the document was filed improperly and was therefore not protected. The court ruled that Mendoza ''acted surreptitiously to have her clients or others . . . view the contents.'' Mendoza is devastated by the charges.
Paralegal Steals $200,000 From Deceased Professor
Shaunesy Teresa Story of Mebane has been charged with taking nearly $200,000 from the estate of a Duke University English professor when she left her firm in July of this year. Story worked as a paralegal at the office of Parker, Poe, Adams and Bernstein where she had been put in charge of the estate of Kenny J. Williams. The money was not missed until after Story's departure. If convicted, Story could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.
Former Mayoral Aide Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice
After an eleven-month ordeal, Christine Beatty, former chief aide to Detroit's ex-mayor agreed to a plea deal to serve a four-month sentence for her perjury in the text-message scandal which involved then-Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick made a similar plea bargain in September. Both have been sentenced to five years of probation and must pay restitution to the city. Beatty will be barred from continuing to seek a law degree while she remains on probation. Beatty admitted that she lied when she denied, under oath, that she had ever had a sexual relationship with Kilpatrick; she also denied under oath that she and Kilpatrick fired two police officers, fearing the disclosure of their affair.
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