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Jack R.
Jack R., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 6147
Experience:  OHIO//Texas Attorney Civil/Crimnal Practice
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I had bought into a corporation a couple years ago. After the

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I had bought into a corporation a couple years ago. After the fact, I discovered there were 9 years of unfiled/unpaid taxes. The contract had stated my shares/business were free of liens and incumbrences. i hired a civil attorney who requested first a shareholder mtg. to take a look at the books, etc. my business partners would never agree to show up. He then threatened to sue them for the $60,000 I paid to buy in. Meanwhile, my business partner assaulted me on 3 different occassions. I filed assault charges against her. They had my lawyer write up a contract that they would agree to pay me back if I dropped the charges. He could not word it exactly like that, but pretty much it states I keep my mouth shut about taxes, and do not pursue the criminal charges against her. Now, she has not showed up at her own court dates because she just "assumed" I was going to drop charges. There is now a warrant for her due to her failure to appear. she is blaming me for that and threatening she can sue now because i did not drop the charges. the atty. who wrote the contract also is calling me and telling me i have to drop them or he could be in trouble with the state bar assoc. what do you think about all this?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Jack R. replied 6 years ago.

I think your attorney has acted improperly in brokering a deal to drop criminal charges as part of a settlement for a civil matter. The prosecutor can decide whether to continue the prosecution irrespective of any deal you make, or whether you drop the charges. You can be subpoenaed to testify, and you must do so truthfully.


Most states have a rule similar to:


(a) A lawyer shall not threaten to present criminal, administrative or disciplinary charges to obtain an advantage in a civil action nor shall a lawyer present or participate in presenting criminal, administrative or disciplinary charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.


Effectively by offering to drop charges to get a civil settlement the attorney may have committed an ethical violation.


If she committed a crime and is being prosecuted for it she cannot sue you. The law provides that illegal contract provisions may not be enforced.



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All comments are provided for informational purposes only. A local attorney should be contacted for specific legal advice.





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