Italian Lawyer Changed Places With Twin; Both Charged With Fraud

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The last identical-twin-swap story I wrote about involved two sisters who changed places when one had a final exam and a probation hearing on the same day.  That got them in trouble, but at least they weren’t lawyers.

Italian newspapers reported recently that a 54-year-old woman who is a practicing attorney and also works part-time as a judge allegedly asked her twin sister to appear on behalf of a client when a conflict arose between the two jobs.  This might not have been a problem except that the clients did not consent, and would not have consented, because the second sister is not an attorney.

In her judicial role, the lawyer twin, Gabriella, would be called in to help full-time judges when caseloads were especially heavy.  Faced with a conflict between a judicial opportunity and an existing representation, and wanting to collect both fees, Gabriella asked Patrizia to cover the client engagement.  She did, but at some point the clients figured out what was going on.  Few details were available, but one source reported that the clients became suspicious after noting that Gabriella’s "legal skills fluctuated between meetings."

Both twins have been charged with fraud for collecting fees for the bogus representation(s), and are scheduled to stand trial in January.  Presumably they will be together in the courtroom at all times to prevent any further shenanigans.

Link: Reuters