Lawyers Behaving (Very, Very) Badly

Lawyers Behaving (Very, Very) Badly

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. 

 Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • I do not believe this is that uncommon. I have heard of this lot being in the legal secretary field for so long. Of course, I think the guy in this story was stupid for putting it in an ad.

  • Not surprised at this guy at all. I've never met a decent lawyer, female or male, who wasn't interested in screwing their clients, financially or otherwise. As a former reporter I only wish I'd gotten a copy of a photograph showing a prominent Knoxville, TN attorney passed out naked on his office couch, with a table top display of what looked like coke, a razor blade and assorted drug paraphernalia on top. His secretary took the photo and said it wasn't the only time. She'd walked in on him watching porn and pleasuring himself in between court cases. He was/is very well known. I saw the photos AFTER he screwed up a case I hired him for. That's how I happened to find out about the photos. But, attorneys and judges party together so most judges are going to look the other way unless it's so blatant they can't afford to ignore the behavior. This guy will screw up again. He's that stupid and that narcissistic.

  • In reply to HomelessOnce:

    There are plenty of decent, God fearing, community driven, lawyers out there. It's reprehensible to lump the whole lot together.

  • I have no reason to deny your specific allegation, but to say that "attorneys and judges party together" to imply that they'll just break the law or not do their job is a baseless statement that is false. It just doesn't work that way.

  • Once a year, the DuPage Bar Association puts on its annual night of drunken debauchery called appropriately, "Judge's Night".

    It was closed to the public more than a decade ago, but it's basically a dinner with a comedy show, and LOTS of lawyers buying LOTS of drinks for the judges they appear before daily. By the end of the evening, most of the judges are too drunk to walk to the bar for more, so the toadie lawyers become waiters delivering drinks to the judges.

  • In reply to RegularGuy:

    That type of stuff definitely happens. I once had to pick a drunk Judge off the ground at a Christmas party (he was later arrested for stuff he did before he became a Judge). I was referring to regular partying with Judges.

  • While I also don't agree with the statement I do understand where Homeless is coming from. There's a general perception that lawyers and judges are all part of some "good ole boys" club and they all play golf and party together in between cases. While in some cases that may be true I can't imagine it being the norm especially here in Chicago where you have thousands of lawyers practicing many different fields, most of them will have little or no contact with a particular judge on a regular basis. As far as the two morons who placed the ad, Lawyers are people too, so you have to take the good with the bad. I'm curious as to how much they were offering to pay this woman for her "services"?

  • Get real. Homeless is right. For decades the judge in Trenton was the business partner of the prosecutor. Their last names were featured in eight inch gold lettering across the windows of their office on Main St. Every time you argued a case against the prosecutor you were trying to convince his law partner to rule against him. Shall we say, a wee bit hopeless? I once made a motion to invoke the witness rule in my first breath and was denied. "Too late, has to be at the beginning", not two seconds after the beginning.
    Sure appeals were easy to get but is that the definition of justice?

  • In reply to eZachLeeWright:

    That stuff would never happen in Chicago. Maybe downstate in small counties.

  • How did I miss this post today?

    And when can I hang out with Samir Zia Chowhan?

  • Not clear on the law here, but isn't her taking the job and being paid tantamount to prostitution?

  • In reply to Expat in Chicago:

    If she took it, it could be, but in these cases they will always go after the person in power. The lawyer is lucky he didn't get arrested for solicitation.

  • fb_avatar

    While representing Case No. GC 09 1653 in the Michigan 46th District Court, the attorney, James G. Schmier (P70825) did nothing. He didn’t know what he was doing but didn’t know what to do. He worked for the defense attorneys Jeanne Barron and Jeffrey Vollmer NOT his client. He, additionally could not account for funds used/unused. After 9 months of doing absolutely nothing, he petitioned the court to withdraw and did. He did not respond to motion and did not appear for hearing; this is notated in the court transcript. He confessed this to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission but the transcript proved his guilt. He confessed inept but put in it a rather obvious lie. “I admit I failed to attend meeting. . . . I made a mistake in entering it in my computer calendar. Hummmmm Really!!! He did this too, he presented the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission a bogus retainer fee agreement. He did. Yes he did. According to Schmier, he sent (2) copies of the retainer fee to client via US Mail but neither was returned to him. Laugh. Go ahead and laugh. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Hummmm stupid, pure stupidity. The client NEVER received either of the two retainer fee agreements because he (Schmier) NEVER prepared/submitted them. He LIED. The subject matter concerning a retainer fee agreement between Schmier and client NEVER surfaced. After 9 months of doing nothing, he (Schmier) said “this case is hard. He said that this case is hard but also exposed his NEGLECT and Civil Conspiracy. Client accompanied by a Birmingham, Michigan police officer retrieved all case files from Schmier at his Birmingham, MI office (2222 Attard St.) December 2009. This was before the January 2010 court date. He (Schmier) NEVER had conversations with the Birmingham, MI police officer concerning escorted client. He said he did. He LIED. The Birmingham, MI police officer denies his allegation. “I did not tell him that and I did not write that in my police report. I was leaving right behind you [ex-client]. He (Schmier) has compromised and damaged a Birmingham police officer’s reputation. He went that far for Attorney Jeanne V. Barron , Raftery, Janeczek & Hoelscher/Farmington Hills, MI He went that far for Attorney Jeffrey L. Vollmer (Wegner & Associates, P.C/St. Clair Shores, MI). They paid him probably. Never the less, his professional demeanor and law skills are atrocious. He (Schmier) is a No. 1 Loser and Master Liar. He lies all over the map. How he ever attained a Michigan Law License is yet a mystery. Believe it or Not, Schmier is vice president of the Michigan Practice & Legal Administration Counsel 812100. Believe it or not he is a volunteer attorney at the Common Ground Sanctuary (Bloomfield Hills, MI). Oh! By the way, he didn’t show up in court to represent himself (01/11/2010). He petitioned the court to withdraw (Case No. GC 09 1653) but did not/could not show his face in court. He wasn’t feeling well. Hummmm, Really!!!. Do not invest in this attorney James G. Schmier. Do not invest in his law firm, Schmier Law, PLLC (Birmingham, MI) and or other businesses associated with him: 1). Dui-Detroit (Birmingham, MI) and 2). J. Schmier Productions, Ltd (Birmingham, MI). WARNING!!! RED FLAG!!!!! His advertisements are ALL FALSE, He is not aggressive and certainly not an experienced lawyer. He’s not an expert in criminal law, DUI, Divorce, etc. He is not an expert at anything.

  • fb_avatar

    On February 03, 2010 during hearing in the Michigan 46th District Court this individual, plaintiff Ms. “X” representing self surrendered statement to tribunal “I was in litigation years ago with defendant [Shiawassee] and Ms. Barron represented them. This individual, plaintiff Ms. “X” saw the attorney Jeanne Barron stand before Judge William Richards in the 46th District Court “with her head down”. This individual, plaintiff Ms. “X” heard the attorney Jeanne Barron say these words “I didn’t bring it up because. . . . . . She, the attorney Jeanne Barron hesitated to announce the previous lawsuit action and or details but uttered and printed it “in writing”, her 01/07/2010 Summary Disposition. What she uttered and printed violated the 2005-067809-NZ Release & Settlement agreement. The Releasor and Releasees shall [will] not disclose, discuss, speak about, write about, e-mail, correspond, publish and/or distribute newsletters or otherwise publicize the terms or existence of this Release and Settlement Agreement . . . . If any party breaches any of the terms of the Release and Settlement Agreement including the preceding confidentiality paragraph, he or she further mutually agrees that the liquidated damages for any such breach shall [will] be set at XXXXXXX Dollars plus costs and attorney fees for each breach and he or she mutually waives the right he or she may have to contest the amount of said damages for the reason that the parties agree that said damages are a reasonable forecast of just compensation for the harm that will be caused to the other by the breach. Release & Settlement Agreement 2005-067809-NZ) Page 4. The three agents: Robert Piech, Thomas Blanding and Mark Hawley representing the Shiawassee reported to the Southfield Police Department (Michigan) an assault and battery crime though it NEVER occurred. All three reported to the Southfield Police Department on different dates and stated three different things. Neither of the three stated “in writing” the exact same thing. Consequently, an arrest warrant was issued. This individual, Ms. “X” in the Michigan 46th District Court was exonerated but a wrong was done. The three Piech, Blanding and Hawley abused the law system. Thus, a complaint was filed in the Oakland County Circuit Court against the Shiawassee and its three agents (Piech, Blanding and Hawley) for FALSE ARREST. Blanding in the Michigan 46th District Court could not read what he wrote and submitted to the Southfield Police. In court, he said “I can’t belive I can’t read my own writing”. Robert Piech testified “in court”. Well you know Ms. “X” made some complaints to the board of directors and you know and and you know”. The case dissolved “out of court”. Defendants via their attorneys & State Farm Insurance surrendered payment XXXXX. All parties, attorneys too signed a confidential agreement. This individual, plaintiff Ms. “X” Plaintiff on 02/12/08 incurred a slip and fall accident on the Shiawassee Condominium Association property at 7:10am. This was one year exactly after the 02/12/07 correspondence (submitted by Attorney Ezra N. Goldman and days after the 01/21/08 correspondence submitted by Attorney Jennifer Cordon Thor. The (Shiawassee) maintenance staff of two Robert (Bob) Piech and Thomas Blanding were defendants in the previous litigation 2005-067809-NZ (public record information). The two were sued by plaintiff, Ms. “X” but appeared on defendant’s preliminary lay and expert witness list offered by their attorney, Jeanne V. Barron, Case No. GC 09 1653 in the Michigan 46th District Court. None of the board members were listed only Piech and Blanding who are only maintenance and were sued by this individual (plaintiff). Laugh. Go ahead and laugh. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Defendant through its attorney, Jeanne Barron denied that it breached any of its duties and further denies that it was negligent but states it was guided by, and strictly observed all of its legal duties and obligations imposed by operation of law, the condominium bylaws and otherwise, in that all of the actions of its agents, servants, and/or employees were careful, proper, prudent and lawful. See Answer to Complaint, (June 10, 2009), line 11, page 6-7; See answers complaint, “it took proper action to administer and enforce its master deeds and bylaws but a request for snow maintenance was requested 12/17/2007. The request was refused 12/24/2007 “these items are co-owner responsibility. “The association will take no action on them clear snow. None [snow] available at this time”. How about that “None [snow] available at this time”. Defendant, Shiawassee on 12/24/2007 “in writing” refused to honor its legal obligation stated in the condominium documents, Article V, Section 5 and the Michigan law statue MCL 559.153. Defendant (Shiawassee) on 12/24/2007 refused to honor its fiduciary responsibility that it [defendant] accepts in its Spring 2005 newsletter. While defendant (Shiawassee) is not surer of safety, it has a duty to exercise DUE CARE, Roberts v Stevens Enterprise, Inc. (1999) WL 334455020. Defendant on 12/24/2007 “in writing” refused to exercise DUE CARE. Defendant in its (Spring 2009) newsletter states owners must carry condo insurance; this is NOT stated in the bylaws. Defendant [Shiawassee] must carry insurance. This is stated in the bylaws, Article IV. Compliance of this bylaw ruling, Article IV is mandated by Michigan law statue MCL 559.153. Defendant shall (will) keep detailed books/records; this is stated in the bylaws, Article 1, Section 3. Compliance of this bylaw ruling Article 1, Section 3 is mandated by Michigan law statues MCL 559.153 and MCL 559.154 (1). Notification of all meetings shall (will) be forwarded to co-owners by mail. This is a bylaw ruling, Article 1 (f). Compliance of this bylaw ruling, Article 1 (f) is mandated by Michigan law statue MCL 559.153. The introduction (01/07/10 Summary Disposition, page 2) prepared and submitted by Jeanne Barron says this individual (plaintiff) Ms. “X” was not unfamiliar to defendant”. Defendant and Jeanne also were not unfamiliar to plaintiff Ms. “X”; all played part in a previous litigation, Case No. 2005-067809-NZ. She knew this, Jeanne Barron.Wait! Wait! The best is yet to come. The January 07, 2010 Summary Disposition, page 2 according to Jeanne Barron says “this individual (plaintiff) Ms. “X” alleges that, on September 18, 2008, she [plaintiff] slipped and fell on accumulated ice on a sidewalk in the condominium complex. (See Plaintiff’s Complaint, paragraphs 17 and 18)” The summary disposition stated inaccurate information. This individual [plaintiff] Ms. “X” did not slip and fall on accumulated ice on the sidewalk in the condominium complex on September 18, 2008; this is not stated in the complaint, paragraph 17 and 18. According to the January 07, 2010, Summary Disposition prepared and submitted by the attorney Jeanne Barron this individual (plaintiff) ms. “X” “twice” in the same year (2008) fell on accumulated ice on a sidewalk in the condominium complex, February 12, 2008 and AGAIN September 18, 2008. How about that!!! Why would Raftery, Janeczek & Hoelscher (Farmington Hills, MI) employ this lawyer (Jeanne V. Barron), I'd don't know. Why would any law firm employ this lawyer (Jeanne V. Barron), I'd like to know.

  • That Jeanne Baron woman is a lawyer, works for a Farmington Hills law firm, REALLY.

Leave a comment