Attorney John C. Osborne
I wrote about John C. Osborne here:
The lawyer who promises to get the accused in a federal cocaine conspiracy case out on conditions of release is unethical and a liar. . . . . What happens next? My bet is that once the lawyer has been paid and four weeks have passed and the client is still incarcerated, the lawyer will “discover” some reason that the accused cannot get out on bond.
A little over four weeks later, I was proven prescient:
Today the lawyer I described in this post called me …. He wanted to know why his client (my former client) had been detained. I probably should have made like Matlock and flipped him off. But instead, I explained to him the presumption of detention in a federal drug conspiracy case with a possible sentence over ten years. I also explained that the particular magistrate who heard the detention hearing will most likely never grant an accused release over the Government’s objection. Why I had to educate was beyond me; he is the one who made the client promises that nobody could possibly keep, and now he’s talking like I somehow dropped the ball.
Six weeks later, he popped up again:
From a brief telephone conversation with him I was able easily to learn that he knew next-to-nothing about federal criminal defense. Now four people have hired him to represent them in serious federal criminal cases in the last eight months. . . . . [T]his guy exemplifies the problem of declining standards of representation in federal criminal cases.
A few months later, the first overpromised client was still in jail—and still represented by John C. Osborne, Texas Bar Number 15333200.
I didn’t use Osborne’s name in any of those four posts because he was still representing people whom I had represented, and I didn’t trust him not to treat them worse. I planned to get back to it someday.
Well, it’s someday now. The State Bar of Texas tells us that attorney John C. Osborne. who in my opinion got cases that he was not competent to handle by making promises that he could not keep, is under a probated suspension until December 2013. I’ve ordered the papers on that; until I receive them, there’s this: John C. Osborne Disbarment Petition
The Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline is trying to disbar John C. Osborne—not for making false representations to get people to hire him for cases beyond his competency, but for mishandling a client’s $130,000. It’ll have to do. And it might just: John C. Osborne is representing himself in his disbarment proceeding, which should in itself be grounds for disbarment under the “fools shouldn’t practice law” rule. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
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