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In re Eisenstein

Missouri Supreme Court
485 S.W.3d 759 (2016)


Facts

Joe Eisenstein (defendant), an attorney, represented the husband in a divorce action. The husband improperly and without the wife’s knowledge accessed the wife’s email account. The husband found the direct-examination questions the wife’s attorney planned to use at the divorce trial. In November 2013, the husband turned the document over to Eisenstein. Upon reading the document, Eisenstein realized it was improper for him to be in possession of its contents. In February 2014, at the divorce trial, Eisenstein included the document in the exhibits he turned over to the wife’s attorney. Eisenstein did not notify the wife or opposing counsel of his contact with the document prior to that time. The state’s Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel (plaintiff) charged Eisenstein with illegally obtaining evidence, in violation of the Rules of Professional Responsibility. A disciplinary panel recommended an indefinite suspension, prohibiting Eisenstein from applying for reinstatement for 12 months, and Eisenstein appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Teitelman, J.)

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