Legal Pad would like to warn lawyers called in for jury duty to heed the fate of Francis Fahy: It’s a sure bet he never thought his stint as a juror would end his legal career.
The California Supreme Court today officially disbarred the former San Francisco solo by a 6-0 vote. Chief Justice Ronald George was on vacation.
Fahy’s sin, after the jump.
After 10 days of deliberations and a month of trial in a medical malpractice case in the spring of 2004, Fahy changed his vote to break a deadlock, clearing the defendant doctor of any liability. But he only did it so he could get back to his law practice.
That’s a no-no. Verdicts are supposed to be based on evidence, not a desire to get the case over with. Fahy then dug a deeper hole by lying to the trial judge about the reason for his vote, and oddly followed that by later signing a declaration admitting the truth.
It’s believed Fahy is the first California lawyer to be disbarred for misbehaving as a juror. Just another reason to dread jury service.
— Mike McKee