Thomas Wilkinson, a member in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in the American Bar Association's Litigation News's article, "Monetary Offer for Witness Testimony Triggers Suspension." An attorney who threatens and offers money to a witness for testimony receives a suspension instead of a public reprimand. The Nevada Supreme Court issued a 35-day suspension to an attorney who violated rules requiring fairness to the other party and barring conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. The court rejected a recommendation from a state disciplinary panel to only publicly reprimand the attorney. Matter of Discipline of Callister serves as a reminder that lawyers must follow ethical standards even when they zealously try to expose wrongdoing. “Any time a lawyer offers to pay an excessive amount to a fact witness there is a potential for criminal exposure, as well as discipline under Rule 3.4,” warns Tom. “Lawyers must steer clear of compensating fact witnesses contingent on the substance of their testimony,” continued Tom.
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