Barron v. Jacobs
Rule 1.8 provides that in general a "lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation." In 2002, Linda Barron hired Stephen Jacobs to represent her in connection with a medical-malpractice case. In 2011, Jacobs allegedly paid Barron's rent for seven months. In October 2011, Jacobs allegedly informed Barron that he would continue to handle her case, although he planned to retire. In December 2011, Jacobs, who worked at Jacobs & Jacobs P.C. in Meriden, Conn., retired. Disciplinary counsel was unable to locate any evidence that Attorney Jacobs filed a medical-malpractice complaint on behalf of his client. The Statewide Grievance Committee found, by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent attorney was not diligent, in violation of Rule 1.3, because he allegedly did not file a medical-malpractice complaint. The respondent allegedly did not keep his client adequately informed about the status of her legal matter, return calls or provide a current address, in violation of Rule 1.4. The respondent attorney failed to file an answer to the grievance complaint, in violation of Rule 8.1(2). The Statewide Grievance Committee ordered the respondent's presentment to Superior Court for discipline. The Statewide Grievance Committee ordered disciplinary counsel to include charges that the respondent paid his client's rent at the same time that he represented her, in violation of Rule 1.8(e), and that he did not protect her interests when he retired and terminated his representation, in violation of Rule 1.16(d).