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In re Petrie

742 P.2d 796 (1987)

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In re Petrie

Arizona Supreme Court

742 P.2d 796 (1987)

Facts

In 1981, Gregory and Barbara Pietz (plaintiffs) sought Robert Alexander Petrie’s (defendant) legal advice to adopt a child. Petrie stated that he would represent the Pietzes if they found a baby for adoption. In 1983, on behalf of the Pietzes, a friend called Petrie to inform him that she knew of a child available for the Pietzes to adopt. After the call, Petrie met with the natural mother and sent the Pietzes a letter to see whether they were interested. The Pietzes replied that they were hopeful the adoption would work out and inquired about the logistics. After reading the letter, Petrie received a call from the Buckmasters, who stated they were interested in adopting a child. Petrie then suggested to the natural mother that she place the child with the Buckmasters. The birth mother agreed. The Pietzes filed a complaint against Petrie with the state bar. The local administrative committee ordered a disciplinary hearing. At the hearing, Petrie testified that he believed that the birth mother was his sole client and that he took the Pietzes’ logistical inquiries to mean they were equivocal about the adoption. The committee recommended censure. The disciplinary commission then reviewed the case and recommended suspension. Petrie objected, and the Arizona Supreme Court reviewed the case.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Holohan, J.)

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