Congratulations to Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler. The voters have spoken, and he is our latest Lawyer of the Day. Maybe this honor will help Doug Gansler close the gap in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.
We enjoyed the process so much last time that we’re going to do it again. We’ll give you three nominees, identify the arguments for or against Lawyer of the Day status, and let you vote for your favorite.
Our latest slate raises this question: what’s worse, criminal or crazy?
The allegations: Michael Pizzi, former mayor of Miami Lakes and former town attorney for Medley, has been hit with federal charges of conspiracy to commit extortion. He has also reportedly been recorded on tape urging an ally to “take out” a rival: “I don’t care what you do. Rig the f**king brakes on his car. F**king take him out. I don’t want to see him anymore.”
Pros: He’s a former elected official who has been charged with corruption and recorded urging an associate to “take out” an adversary. ‘Nuff said.
Cons: Pizzi denies the corruption charges, saying that he will be completely exonerated. As for the “take him out” language, Pizzi dismisses it as “meaningless, over the top, silly, ridiculous drinking talk.” The police investigation into the “take him out” tape has been closed.
The allegations: According to a report by the Ohio Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Angela Stokes may be “suffering from a mental illness that substantially impairs her ability to perform her duties as a judicial officer.” Judge Stokes allegedly displays an “inability to administer her docket in a timely manner, [a] lack of organization, and [an] unreasonable expectation that all court employees be at her beck and call.”
Pros: She sounds like a completely unhinged judicial diva, one who allegedly abuses courthouse staff, the lawyers who appear before her, and the parties — particularly criminal defendants, whom she “expels and places in holding cells for minor infractions such as whispering.”
Cons: We’ve seen crazier judges from the midwest — e.g., the Honorable Cynthia Brim.
The allegations: The Kansas Supreme Court suspended (but did not disbar) former state attorney general Phill Kline, issuing a 154-page ruling finding that he had violated 11 legal ethics rules. According to the ABA Journal, the court concluded that he “failed to properly advise a grand jury about applicable law, gave false and misleading information to courts about the handling of patient medical records from abortion clinics, and instructed his staff to attach sealed documents to a public filing.”
Pros: How often does a former state attorney general get benchslapped by the state’s highest court? Also, as previously noted by Juggalo Law, Phill Kline is a “douchebag who doesn’t know how to spell his first name.”
Cons: Even though some wanted Kline disbarred, he merely got suspended. His lawyer, Thomas Condit, dismissed the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision as “not an acceptable result,” arguing that “there was never any deliberate dishonesty” on Kline’s part.
Today presents some tough competition. Who deserves to be crowned our Lawyer of the Day?
Tape: Suspended Miami Lakes Mayor Pizzi threatened to ‘take out’ rival [Miami Herald]
Michael Pizzi resigns post as Medley attorney [Miami Herald]
Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Angela Stokes should undergo psychiatric examination [Cleveland Plain Dealer via ABA Journal]
Former Kansas AG Phill Kline is suspended from law practice for at least 3 years [ABA Journal]