I hold lawyers to a pretty high standard. I strongly believe that your attorney should look out for your interests, treat you with respect, respond to your concerns in a timely way, and generally be upfront and honest. Most of the lawyers I know lawyers like this. They’re out there. The problem, as I’m sure you’ve heard me say before, is the bad lawyers who give the rest a bad name. And some are really bad.
Example # 2,567: An Illinois lawyer who put an ad on Craigslist for a secretary who could perform secretarial duties, paralegal duties, and have sex with him on an ongoing basis. I can’t decide if I’m more disgusted or more awestruck at the boldness of this guy.
The lawyer is Samir Zia Chowhan, an Illinois immigration attorney. And it gets better. Apparently, a woman responded, sending Chowan her resume and, as requested, a photo and her measurements. She got an e-mail from the lawyer, who was clearly interested. But before he hired her he wanted to make sure she was really up for the demands of the job, namely the sex part. In order to be sure, she would be required to come in for an “interview” and perform for the guy and his partner. Did I mention the job required sex with two lawyers?
Again, the boldness of this guy. His e-mails were not just implying these things. He flat out said “in addition to the legal work, you would be required to have sexual interaction with me and my partner, sometimes together, sometimes separate. This part of the job would require sexy dressing and flirtatious interaction with me and my partner, as well as sexual interaction.”
The woman who applied decided to forwarded the e-mails to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, and there was an investigation. Chowhan denied it at first, which was part of the reason he was disciplined. He lied and said someone was obviously out to get him.
He eventually admitted posting the ad and sending the e-mails. When the truth came out, the court suspended his license for a year. The complaint was made in 2009, but the disciplinary action was finalized this November.
The disciplinary ruling says that Chowhan used his position of authority inappropriately, which reflects poorly on the profession in general (obviously). More importantly, according to the report, he lied and refused to participate in his hearing. Technically, it appears he was disciplined for these things and not necessarily the ad he posted. Although it couldn’t have been completely irrelevant.
According the the American Bar Association, in 2009 when this came out, Chowhan also was facing disciplinary action for allegedly mishandling two immigration cases. Can’t say that it surprises me. How could he have had time for his clients when he was so busy dealing with his staffing issues?
What I don’t get is how could this guy be eligible to get his license back, ever? His actions sound like someone who is mentally ill or from Mars. It’s so beyond what could even begin to be considered acceptable that it appears this is someone that could never see the error of their ways. I’m no angel, but I can’t imagine what was going through this guy’s head when he was typing this. It’s so brazen that it’s almost like a cry out to get caught.
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