BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD OF THE.
A lawyer, Betty Tsamis, and the ARDC have agreed to a reprimand to settle a disciplinary complaint. There were two counts in the complaint. Count I alleged that Tsamis inadvertently converted settlement funds because of poor bookkeeping practices. Count II gathered news attention. Count II alleged that Tsamis violated client confidentiality in responding to a negative review on the Avvo.com website.
The Joint Stipulation states: “ On April 10, 2013, Rinehart (the client) posted a second negative client review of Respondent on AVVO. Respondent replied to his post and revealed confidential information about his case. Respondent’s reply to Rinehart’s second posting contained information relating to her representation of Rinehart and exceeded what was necessary to respond to Rinehart’s accusations.”
Posting on Avvo is risky because (a) Avvo owns the content that is posted, not the lawyer who posted it; and (b) after this case, it is unwise to respond to any Avvo reviews. In my opinion, no discipline was warranted here. If any was appropriate, it should have been confidential and not published on the ARDC website.
Edward X. Clinton, Jr.