A West Virginia lawyer who beat up his client with a baseball bat, and even continued to beat the client as he lay on the ground, has been disbarred for ethical violations.
Aggravating factors were the lawyer previously took money belonging to another client and threw a propane tank through the window of his wife’s car.
State authorities found the lawyer violated ethics rules against commission of a criminal act reflecting adversely “on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer” and engaging in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”
Some question whether the lawyer’s conduct violated those rules. “Nowhere in the Rules of Professional Conduct will you find anything about beating a client with a baseball bat. The rules are completely silent on that. … Point being, if you beat your client with a baseball bat, they will find something to charge you with,” said Kevin Underhill of lowering the bar.
Source: Kevin Underhill, “TIP: Beating Client With a Baseball Bat Almost Certainly Violates Ethics Rules ,” lowering the bar, November 2, 2012