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Court Denies Fees to Attorney On Grounds He Turned Peaceful Divorce into Costly Feud

A California appellate court recently rejected the request of John Fuchs, a divorce attorney, for $250,000 in fees -- and referred him to the State Bar of California for possible discipline -- on the ground that his tactics in a divorce proceeding aggravated a simple case into a costly legal feud that wasted the parties' money.

According to the court, Rochelle and John Tesoriero were about to settle their two-year-old divorce case in 2002 when John Fuchs began representing the wife and provoking the other side. Among other things, Fuchs repeatedly sent nasty letters to the husband's attorney that the court called "outrageous" (one excerpt: "perhaps we should start sending my friends, Vito and Luigi, to [John's] house on a weekly basis.").

See the full story here.

Given the increasing lack of civility among lawyers (see post here), financial sanctions are a great way for courts to send a message to the bar that harassment and other forms of outrageous behavior by lawyers will not be tolerated.

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