Catching Up With Med School Drop-Out/Suspended Lawyer/B-School Student Loren Friedman

by lawshucks on January 20, 2010

[Update 5/21/10: Three-year Suspension "UFO"]

We love our commenters (and we wish there were more of you!) and an old story is a perfect example of why.

Almost a year ago we reported on the plight of Loren Elliotte Friedman (pictured! (r)), about whom we wondered Flunked out of Med School, Disbarred, What Next? At the time we reported that

The Illinois bar has somehow seen fit to recommend that Loren Elliotte Friedman only be suspended for three years for an epic series of lies and deception involving, among many other things, changing the grades on his transcript.

Late last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the final sentence handed down by the Illinois Review Board was even shorter than that!

Friedman ended up with only an 18-month suspension.

After the jump, the valuable insight provided by commenters clears up the story a little more.

First, we did a little commenting of our own on the WSJ Law Blog’s post (and they kindly added the information to the main post). From our first post, we commented:

  • 5:27 pm
  • January 15, 2010

Law Shucks wrote: We wrote about an earlier stage in the proceedings last year and can answer one of the LB’s questions. He’s been going to business school. At Illinois. Whence he was dismissed for flunking his med school classes. Check out the quote from the B-school admissions office.

That was in response to the Law Blog’s musings on where Friedman had been since being reported to the bar. Then one of our own commenters one-upped us!

As if the update on his status and his efforts to rehabilitate himself weren’t enough, we now have a picture! To you, “Jac,” our heartfelt thanks.

But wait, there’s more commenter goodness! Back to the WSJ:

  • 9:39 am January 16, 2010
  • Anonymous wrote:

Everyone seems to be getting this story wrong. The prior recommendation was a three year suspension with automatic reinstatement. This decision recommends a shorter suspension term, but then the suspension would continue “until further ordered” (UFO). Friedman would have to apply for readmission, and would bear a pretty heavy burden in doing so. Although the ARDC Administrator didn’t get full disbarment, this decision looks like a loss for Friedman, compared to the earlier decision. Don’t be surprised if the Administrator doesn’t further challenge this recommendation (unless the ARDC staff gets irritated that the misreporting of this by the press and the blogs is sending the wrong message), but Friedman appeals to try to get the proposed deal that was on the table last week.

And Anonymous is right. From the order:

The Review Board determined that Friedman should not be allowed to avoid a comprehensive evaluation of his character and fitness and recommended that he be suspended for eighteen months and until further order of the court.

Apparently, he was suitably contrite (something he seems to have mastered – see the old post for his interactions with the law school dean and the b-school admissions office)

While reprehensible, Respondent’s misconduct did not harm any clients. Neither is there any indication in the record that Respondent acted dishonestly while practicing law in New York. Based on his sincere remorse and his acceptance of responsibility for his actions, it appears that Respondent has learned from his mistakes. In our view, a suspension of eighteen months UFO is sufficient to protect the public, deter others from engaging in similar misconduct, and require Respondent to satisfy his obligation of establishing his character and fitness before resuming practice.

So Friedman will in fact have the burden of showing that he has appropriately rehabilitated himself and is qualified to practice. Although now that he’s in B-school, will he ever apply?

Thank you commenters!

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