Two Atlanta attorneys who paid runners at least $276,000 over several years to bring them personal-injury clients were stripped of their right to practice law today by the Supreme Court of Georgia. Lawyers Steven C. Freedman and Thomas C. Sinowski, who had “zealously” litigated the case against them for 10 years, argued that even a one-year suspension was too much.
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Former Atlanta City Attorney Clifford Hardwick IV will give up his license for six months for failing to represent a client accused of illegally downloading music. Today’s announcement marked the latest round of intrigue for Hardwick, who had been disciplined twice previously by the State Bar and who was shot and critically injured in a Cascade Road Starbuck’s in 2008.
The Georgia Supreme Court, for the second time in two months, has told the State Bar to get tougher with lawyers who break the rules. In a unanimous decision, the high court today rejected a reprimand for a lawyer who used falsified documents in a personal injury case. Justice David Nahmias, in a 17-page concurring opinion, picked apart Nerrylle Manning-Wallace’s account of her actions and the bar’s rationale for going along with a reprimand for her.
The Georgia Supreme Court today told the State Bar it was too easy on a lawyer who took $493,000 from his employer. The court rejected a six- to 12-month suspension for Michael J.C. Shaw. The Bar’s recommendation miffed Justice David Nahmias, who wrote that he believes most lawyers and “almost every citizen in this State would be equally disturbed by that concept of attorney discipline.”