Vince Megna, often called the Lemon Law King, has filed a formal complaint against Jason Thompson – son of U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson – for that “back to Kenya” remark he made about Obama [I wrote about that here]. There seem to be a few things that attorneys like Jason are not supposed to do by virtue of an oath that they take in Wisconsin. Who knew?
“This comment is both disturbing and disgusting. It takes us back in time to the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond when any issue involving an African American elicited the almost universal cry of white America to ‘send them all back to Africa,'” Megna wrote in a complaint to the Office of Lawyer Regulation.
Megna contends Jason Thompson’s remarks violate his lawyer’s oath to support the state and federal constitutions, and that he should be sanctioned by the OLR….”
Dean R. Dietrich wrote at the Wisconsin Bar’s blog that, “The charge of a rule violation based upon the attorney’s oath often is reserved for very serious conduct or behavior, although the oath’s ambiguous language allows for a great deal of subjective interpretation.”
What is the oath?
Wisconsin lawyers must pledge to
*support the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions;
*maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;
*not counsel or maintain any suit or proceeding that would be unjust, or any defense that is not honestly debatable;
*maintain the confidence and preserve the secrets of each client;
*abstain from all offensive personality;
*advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause;
*never reject, for any consideration personal to the lawyer, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or to delay any person’s cause out of malice.
Footnote: Jason Thompson works for the law firm Michael Best & Friedrich
See “Conduct Outside the Law Office
Ethics Rules Apply 24-7” for more.