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California lawyer sanctioned for Virginia court appearance

A California lawyer – lacking a Virginia law license – was both fined by a judge and disciplined by the Virginia State Bar for allegedly representing a criminal defendant in Arlington. The lawyer says he got a raw deal.

When he went to general district court in April, George F. Braun was just helping a buddy who faced a misdemeanor charge, Braun said. He never professed to be a lawyer and he merely helped his friend consider a plea deal from the prosecutor, he said.

The friend got a favorable result, but a judge thought Braun crossed the line, and he was haled into court on a contempt charge.

The judge found Braun guilty of contempt and imposed a $250 fine.

When the Virginia State Bar also brought a charge of practicing without a Virginia license, “I threw myself on my sword,” Braun said. He accepted a public reprimand and agreed not to provide legal services of any kind in Virginia through Jan. 1, 2016.

The bar discipline was imposed Dec. 10.

“No good deed goes unpunished,” Braun said.

One comment

  1. It’s better to be punished for a good deed than for a bad deed.

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