Attorney-Client Unethical Relationships

Linda Lowney, an attorney in California, was recently suspended for taking “advantage of a lonely, sick old man,” as stated by a judge of the State Bar Court.  In 2002, Lowney drafted a will for the elderly client, in which the client provided for his estate to be divided between his sister and two nieces.  Three years later, the attorney (age 54) became romantically involved with her client (then aged 85).

As he was in poor health, the client called his nieces and had them agree to transfer a total of $339,000 to Lowney so she could “use the money to take care of him.”  The next year, in 2006, Lowney and her client married, using a confidential marriage license so that the nuptials would stay out of public records.  Less than one year later, the client asked for a divorce and soon after was moved to a nursing home where he died in early 2007.  As if this were not sketchy enough, Lowney didn’t tell the client’s nieces of his death and then discouraged them from coming to the U.S. from Norway for the funeral.

In another similar story, Emmett Corrigan, an attorney from Idaho was shot and killed recently by the husband of a female client, for whom he had filed a divorce for the day before.  This woman was apparently Corrigan’s assistant and her husband suspected she was having an affair with him.… <Read More>