They say there is no such thing as bad publicity, but that proposition is really being put to the test in the case of Thomas Lyons Jr.
Lyons, a Vadnais Heights attorney, was suspended indefinitely from the practice of law for settling a lawsuit without informing the other side of the inconvenient fact that the client whom he was representing had died. Ironically enough, the client had retained Lyons to represent him in a suit against a credit agency for erroneously listing the client as dead. The client took ill and, by the time the case was in its final stages, so was he. He died a couple of weeks before the “i”s could be dotted and the “t”s crossed. Lyons went ahead and settled the case for $19K anyway. (Click here for Minnesota Lawyer’s story in the April 12 edition, password required.)
Benchmarks — a national legal blog run by our sister publication, Lawyers USA — has now picked up the death-defying tale in a piece entitled “Weekend at Bernie’s: Lawyer hides client’s death.”