Legal Question in Legal Ethics in Arkansas

Is this accepted behavior from an attorney?

My attorney called me to demand a restitution payment be made ASAP to their trust account to end a criminal fraud charge against me in a plea agreement. I explained that it would a day or two to get the funds and was told if I want the case to end I would bring a check ASAP. I told them that I'd have to borrow some money from a friend over the weekend to cover the check and they didn't seem to care so I didn't either at that point. Over the weekend I was assured from a friend that I could get the money as long as the case was truly over with a plea agreement. On Monday there was no plea and furthermore I was told there never was a plea in the making. Which makes wonder the urgency. Because the case did not end my friend would not let me have the money. I later found out that although I told them there was no money they tried to cash the check anyway and want to charge me extra bank fees for that and now they say they have an obligation to the court to tell the judge that I fraudulently wrote a bad check and that would be a felony. This is MY attorney. I didn't misrepresent the situation to them and was upfront but when I started barking back they explained to me that I am not the one in charge here. Is this an ethics issue?

Asked on 5/17/07, 10:33 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Brandon Moffitt Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC

Re: Is this accepted behavior from an attorney?

Possibly. I am not sure why the restitution payment was to be made to the attorney's trust account. That is typically made directly to the court.

Some things just don't add up if the facts are as you stated.

Did you happen to write "Restitution" on the memo line of your check or was it left blank? Do you owe the law firm some money for representing you?

Please feel free to send me an email.

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Answered on 5/18/07, 11:10 am

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