$1000 cheque marks a lost legal career

By Lawyers Weekly|03 March 2012

MICHAEL GISRIEL, a US real estate lawyer, has been disbarred after cashing a cheque made out to one of his former clients into his firm's bank account. His 32 years in the business offered no…

MICHAEL GISRIEL, a US real estate lawyer, has been disbarred after cashing a cheque made out to one of his former clients into his firm's bank account.

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His 32 years in the business offered no defence, nor did his argument that he had deposited the money on the assumption that it would make up for an earlier expense of the client that he had paid for out of his own pocket. According to the Maryland Daily Record, Gisriel's lawyer told the Maryland's Court of Appeal that his client had signed his former client's name under the pretence that the check was a "good faith, albeit mistaken, transaction".

Not so surprisingly, the argument did not turn the case in Gisriel's favour. His opponent in the case, the Attorney Grievance Commission, argued that Gisriel acted intentionally, believing his client would never find out about the $1000.

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The cheque resulted from a mediation and why it landed in the letterbox of Gisriel, nobody knows.

Luckily for Gisriel, the former member of the House of Delegates has his finger in a number of pies. His legal career might be no more, but he says he will continue to work as a lobbyist while also continuing to perform real estate title services - though he may want to more carefully watch his incoming mail.

$1000 cheque marks a lost legal career
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