Lawyering costs money. There’s the degree, the bar fees, the opportunity cost of not doing something more contributive to society like growing aphids — you get my point. But those are the costs that you kind of have to endure to call yourself a lawyer. What you really want to avoid are the costs associated with calling yourself a lawyer when you really aren’t in the position to do any of the lawyering bits.
A Boston-area lawyer has been fined $100 a day and subjected to a lengthier suspension after she was held in contempt for falsely holding herself out as eligible to practice law on her website and voice mail.
“Perhaps most significant of all” is that the lawyer, Maude Laroche-St. Fleur, stated in open court that she would not take the steps needed to comply with court orders in her ethics case, according to an April 11 opinion imposing sanctions.
Come on now. Is this an iconic thing to do? Sure. But like, grow up maybe? Even Clarence Thomas’s law-bending ass has the decency to at least pretend that he will act in line with basic expectations of decorum moving forward. There are some scenarios where you lose a battle to win a war. But whatever victory this lawyer is going for has to be Pyrrhic. She’s gonna be hemorrhaging money.
Laroche-St. Fleur will have to continue paying the $100 daily fine until she is no longer in contempt. Lowy also tacked extra time onto Laroche-St. Fleur’s initial 18-month suspension, making her ineligible to apply for reinstatement for five years after whatever date she substantially complies with orders in the ethics case. And Lowy said he would appoint a commissioner to “take appropriate action.”
Dear readers, I know it can be fun to buck authority, but doing it at a cost of $100 a day just isn’t fiscally reasonable. At that point, you’d be much better off writing a heinous post about them on Reddit. Or, if you want to spread the joy around, send us some deets at email@example.com. But you really shouldn’t do whatever it is she thinks she’s doing.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by tweet at @WritesForRent.