The LawSites blog reported on June 8 that a lawyer must have neglected his duty of technical competence when he didn’t remember flipping the bird during his opponent’s appellate argument on Zoom. The action was, of course, recorded.
Denying the action, no doubt didn’t help the lawyer. Between the flipping and denying, he was fined $3,000 by the court.
The oral argument on Zoom was before the Michigan Court of Appeals. According to the court’s subsequent order, attorney James Heos “raised his middle finger toward the camera while opposing counsel was arguing.”
According to the court’s order, “When members of the panel questioned attorney Heos regarding his obscene gesture, he denied doing so, although the record plainly reflects that he did so.”
And he was referred to the Michigan attorney grievance committee for investigation.
“Mr. Heos exhibited shameful disrespect to the Court and to opposing counsel in his offensive gesture and his dishonest replies to the Court’s inquiries,” the court said.
Heos told the Detroit Free Press that he thought he was gesturing at his blank computer screen and was unaware the judges could see him.
“He said he is technologically challenged — ‘the only thing I can really do is generate my emails’ — and was frustrated because his computer had been malfunctioning for days and he had been assured it would be working for this important hearing in a medical malpractice case,” the Free Press reported.
I would say that Mr. Heos had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day . . .
Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President, Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
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