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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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I was at a meeting with magistrate and lawyer, the magistrate

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I was at a meeting with magistrate and lawyer, the magistrate stepped out of the room and the lawyer said to me" well you shouldnt have taken money from your patient" i responded "I didnt, lawyer stated "then you shouldnt have arranged for your boyfriend to take the money" i again stated "I didnt". This seems to me to be unprofessional as well as unethical as well as feeling harrassed. Does he have the right to say that without using the word alleged?
Welcome and thank you for your question!

I am sorry to learn of the facts you've described. It would be helpful to know, were you represented by your own attorney at the time?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. i was unemployed and unable to afford an attorney

Thank you. That is most helpful.

Under the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, RULE 4.4: RESPECT FOR RIGHTS OF THIRD PERSONS
(a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, harass, delay, or burden a third person, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person.

What you've described was either him being unprofessional or he was trying to bait you in to making some type of admission of wrongdoing (similar tactics are done by police officers when they are investigating things). (It is legal for him to do since you were not represented by a lawyer at the time).

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How do you determine whether he was being unprofessional, i feel that he was and that he belittled me. are we not innocent until proven guilty?


 

Let me ask you this, given that this was just a private conversation between the two of you: what is the outcome that you are seeking?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it wasnt a private conversation there was the stenographer, another lady representing the O.B.O.N and my husband also there. He is the assistant attorney general. What gives him the right to speak to me that way. i was not talking to him or with him. i was talking to my husband.

Thank you for clarifying the context. Did you respond to him by denying his allegations as being untrue?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I didnt say they were untrue, per say, but did say too him that 'No, i didnt" to his comment.

Thank you. Given the context of everything, his actions can be considered to be unprofessional but not illegal.

A part of zealous advocacy includes such tactics. Again, he was throwing those out there to either throw you off mentally or see if he could gain an admission against you.

Is it rude? Sure. Does it violate a law? No, not at all. Litigation can be a hard game for a lot of reasons. What you've experienced is one of them.

You are free, however, to contact his supervisor and complain about his professionalism/lack thereof/ and demeanor.

You could also file an ethics complaint against the lawyer; however, honestly, they will not give you the relief you seek and I know that would only compound your frustration. I just want you to be aware of that up front and not give you false hope on that avenue.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Should I mention his behavior to the magistrate? She was unaware of his behavior and/or comments to me. I understand this is not going to be easy but feel that his rudeness and allegations, being that they are alleged, was humiliating to me. Do i not have any rights? Thank you.

You can mention it to the magistrate, if you wish. Again, however, I am not clear on what is the outcome that you are seeking.

The attorney could not do that if you were represented by another lawyer. However, since you are not represented by an attorney, the attorney is free to have such direct conversations with you outside the presence of the magistrate.

And, as I suggested earlier, you are free to complain to his supervisor about his behavior. It's unprofessional but it's not illegal behavior.

I hope this helps to clarify things. If it doesn't, please reply and let me know.

~~ J.B.
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