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ARDC Review Board Recommends Six Month Suspension for Criticizing Judges

Filed March 31.

This is one of several recent cases where a lawyer has made statements questioning the integrity or honesty of judges and has been disciplined. Here the Review Board upheld a recommendation of a six-month suspension for Brian Sides. Here, the lawyer was attempting to vacate a small claims judgment against him and he accused the judge, who ruled against him, of a lack of integrity and honesty. Later, he accused other judges of misconduct.

Statements such as the ones made in this case almost always result in discipline. To defeat the professional claim, the lawyer would have to prove all the statements were factually true, which, of course, he cannot do. It is always permissible to question the reasoning of an opinion. It is improper to question the integrity of the judge or other lawyer.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

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