Client: Attorney Gave Me Bad Advice, Tried to Kill Me

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This lead-in by Courthouse News Service caught my eye:

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (CN) – The attorney a man hired to represent him in a child custody dispute had an affair with the mother of the client's child, then tried to hire hit men to kill him—three times—and was sentenced to prison for it, the client claims in court.

Brian Hegg claims defendant attorney Jason Smiekel also gave him bad legal advice.

Not too many cases against an attorney where a legal-malpractice claim just seems like piling on, but I guess this would be one of them.

According to the report, Smiekel is currently serving an eight-and-a-half-year sentence after being convicted on the thrice-attempted-murder-for-hire charges—a sentence that does cause me to reflect again on the 15 years recently handed out for conspiracy to cut off beards—and that is probably why the complaint also names the firms of which Smiekel used to be a part. Plaintiff claims the firms negligently failed to address a substance-abuse problem they knew Smiekel had, and less plausibly that they "negligently allowed defendant Smiekel to use his position at the aforementioned defendant law firms to plot and/or attempt to execute the murder of Hegg."

Firms apparently should be monitoring their members and employees to make sure they are not plotting to murder someone, at least during business hours. Please make a note of it.

According to the Illinois Disciplinary Commission, Mr. Smiekel is currently subject to an interim suspension pending further order of the court, but based on the facts above, I'd say they could go ahead and drop the "interim."