Young New Hampshire lawyer Daniel Hynes, who is just 27, has earned a place among our Lawyers of the Day for extorting hair salons.
Feel free to use the Power of the Law Degree to ensure that your landlord heats your apartment adequately. But using it to threaten beauty parlors… that’s just wrong. From the Concord Monitor:
A Manchester lawyer who threatened to sue a Concord salon for pricing haircuts differently for men and women and then took money to settle the matter was found guilty of theft by extortion.
A jury took about 1½ hours to convict Daniel Hynes, 27, on Wednesday. Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Baker said Hynes sent letters to at least 19 salons in the state.
One arrived Dec. 20, 2006, at Claudia’s, the North Main Street hair salon owned by Claudia Lambert. In the letter, Hynes said prices should be based on the time a cut takes or on the length of hair, instead of on gender. He wrote: “I demand payment in the amount of $1,000 in order to avoid litigation,” according to court documents.
Since he was not representing a client, Mr. Hynes defended his right to extort by citing the First Amendment and the right to petition the courts. We are surprised it took the jury an hour and a half to deliberate on this.
Hynes would have been wise to enlist a female friend to play his client in this fiendish plot. His reasoning comes across as a bit weak:
In one court document, he argued that the price structure that he saw as discriminatory had caused him stress and mental anguish, despite the fact that prices for men were less than those for women. He said he was being denied an “inherent benefit in being treated equally.” He pointed to a woman’s right to vote and said he benefits from her right, even though he is a man.
If Mr. Hynes is not disbarred, we’d like to talk with him about how we can get a haircut for under $100.
Update: Find out how Daniel Hynes fared on appeal.
Lawyer guilty of salon extortion [Concord Monitor]