Jake Lassiter: Flirting with Disbarment

Jake Lassiter faces disbarment in “Last Chance Lassiter,” the prequel to the ten-book series featuring the Miami Dolphins linebacker turned trouble-prone lawyer. In the novella, a young Lassiter – a few years out of night law school – slugs a client. Why? The transcript of his Bar Disciplinary Hearing answers the question, as he spars with the judge assigned to his case.

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

THE FLORIDA BAR, Case Number SC-14-238
Petitioner

vs.

JAKE LASSITER,
Respondent

TRANSCRIPT OF BAR DISCIPLINARY HEARING

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JUDGE BUCKSTROM: Apparently, Mr. Lassiter, you have a propensity for violence.

JAKE LASSITER: Not really, Your Honor. The only time I was arrested, it was a case of mistaken identity.

Q: How’s that?

A: I didn’t know the guy I hit was a cop.

Q: But in this case, Mr. Lassiter, you have admitted striking your own client.

A: Technically, he wasn’t my client. It was our first meeting, and I hadn’t agreed to represent him.

Q: So why did you hit him?

A: He came at me with a baseball bat from the collection on my office wall. Barry Bonds. Mark McGuire. Alex Rodriguez.

Q: You collect from any players who didn’t break the rules?

A: Innocent until proven juiced, Your Honor.

Flirting with Disbarment

Jake flirts with disbarment in “Last Chance Lassiter.”

Q: So your testimony is…your prospective client attacked you with your own bat?

A: Under Florida’s stand-your-ground law, I could have shot him with a machine gun.

Q: The complainant swears you hauled off and slugged him without provocation.

A: So he’s a liar in addition to being a wife beater.

Q. Now, hold on, Mr. Lassiter.

A: He was charged with spousal abuse and wanted me to suborn perjury. Specifically, he said–

Q: Stop right there! That’s hearsay.

A: I thought this was an informal proceeding.

Q: My report to the Florida Supreme Court is damn formal, pardon my French. And you, sir, are flirting with disbarment.

A: (inaudible)

Q: Did you just laugh, Mr. Lassiter?

A: Sorry, Your Honor. Flirting with Disbarment. Sounds like my life story.

Q: Indeed. I’ve reviewed the litany of Bar Complaints against you. Are you familiar with Florida Bar Rule Seven-D?

A: Not really, but if it’s only number seven, how important can it be?

Q: What!

A: Like in the Ten Commandments. Number seven outlaws adultery. No biggie, if you look at the statistics.

Q: Mr. Lassiter, Rule Seven-D states that “Lawyers must comport themselves with dignity.”

A: Sounds like a slap-on-the-wrist offense. Can I plead nolo and get a sternly worded letter from Tallahassee?

Q: Assault and battery is a felony, and a felony is a disbarable offense.

A: Disbarable? Is that even a word?

Q: That’s enough! Your flippancy will be noted.

A: Now, flippancy is definitely a word. But a funny one. No way can you say flippancy and not smile.

Q: What about the word disbarment? Want to crack wise about that one? Disbarment! Disbarment! Disbarment!

A: I get your point, Judge. I just do things my own way.

Q: If you don’t follow the Ethical Rules, just how do you go about practicing law?

A: I look for a cause that’s just, a client I like, and a check that doesn’t bounce.

Q: How’s that working for you?

A: I seldom win the trifecta.

Q: I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. Do you have any remorse? Do you regret striking your client? Your prospective client.

A: My Granny taught me that any man who hits a woman is a low-life scumsucker, and if I were ever to see such a thing, I should put a stop to it. Well, I couldn’t stop this bastard, so I just called him a bully and a coward who doubted his own manhood, a pussycat pretending to be a tiger. He’d been admiring the Barry Bonds black maple bat. I was hoping he’d come at me with it. When he did, he swung more like Barry Manilow than Barry Bonds. I ducked and caught him with a left jab to the jaw followed by a right hook to the gut. He tossed his cookies on my loafers.

A: So you have no regrets about this violent incident, which could lead to your disbarment?

Q: Sure, I do, Your Honor. I regret getting caught.

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“Last Chance Lassiter” is available in paperback and as an ebook from Amazon. More information on the Jake Lassiter Series Pages.

Paul Levine

Paul Levine

PAUL LEVINE has won the John D. MacDonald fiction award and was nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, International Thriller, Shamus and James Thurber prizes. He wrote 20 episodes of the CBS military drama “JAG” and co-created the Supreme Court drama “First Monday” starring James Garner and Joe Mantegna. “To Speak for the Dead,” an international bestseller featuring lawyer Jake Lassiter, was his first novel. He is also the author of the “Solomon vs. Lord” series. His latest novels are "Bum Rap," a Amazon Number One Bestseller, "Bum Luck" and "Bum Deal." A graduate of Penn State and the University of Miami School of Law, he divides his time between Santa Barbara, CA and Miami, FL.
Paul Levine
Paul Levine