ADB panel reprimands Baskin for misconduct

An Attorney Discipline Board hearing panel has issued an order of reprimand to high-profile attorney and Oakland University Trustee Henry Baskin after he admitted that he had a sexual relationship with a client while representing her in a divorce action.

Baskin represented the client from 1999 to 2004.

According to the panel’s report, Baskin admitted that his conduct violated Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7(b)(1), in that under the circumstances of the case, “a lawyer could not reasonably believe that the representation might not be adversely affected by the lawyer’s personal interests.”

Robert Edick, the Deputy Grievance Administrator presented the case to the hearing panel. Edick argued that Baskin should be suspended for his misconduct.

The hearing panel concluded that Baskin should have known better.

“Although there is no evidence of actual injury to the client, the potential for injury under these circumstances is clear to any lawyer, and certainly to someone with respondent’s experience,” the hearing panel wrote.

“Indeed, this experience caused this panel to consider imposing a suspension, but we have concluded that Standard 4.33 is applicable and that the imposition of a reprimand adequately serves to protect the public, the courts and the profession,” the panel concluded.

Baskin was assessed costs and fees totaling $2,468.

Update: Edick said the Attorney Grievance Commission has not made a decision whether to appeal the level of discipline imposed by the hearing panel. Any appeal would be heard first by the Attorney Discipline Board.

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Legal program wins 2010 Michigan Emmy Award

Birmingham, Mich (June 8, 2010) – Due Process, a long-running weekly legal program airing on PBS, has won an Emmy Award for best Public/Current/Community Affairs program for its “Treatment Court” episode. The award was announced at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 2010 Michigan Emmy Awards on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre.

Due Process is hosted by attorney Henry Baskin and produced by Mitch Jacobs, Jacobs Productions. The program has been on the air for 26 seasons, making it one of the longest running programs in Michigan television history. This is the first Emmy Award for the program as well as the first time Due Process submitted a nomination for the award.

“Everyone involved with Due Process strives to produce quality and informative shows that will  provide the public with simple and helpful information about common legal issues, so it is a true honor to receive this award,” said Henry Baskin, host of Due Process. “Many thanks go to Due Process producer Mitch Jacobs, PBS and to our underwriters Meade Lexus and Newsradio WWJ-950.”

“Treatment Court”, the Emmy Award winning episode, was an in-depth look at the adult treatment court and its effectiveness at addressing adult felony offenders. In this powerful program, host Henry Baskin was joined by the Honorable Wendy Potts, Chief Circuit Judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit Court and Shea Pounder, an ex-addict who received assistance through treatment court and is helping others transition to a successful life.

Philanthropic group suing Bill Davidson estate

The non-profit Areivim Philanthropic Group Inc. is suing the estate of William Davidson, former owner of the Detroit Pistons.

Areivim claims that Davidson was one of 13 donors who in 2006 pledged to contribute $5 million to the group “to establish a ‘fund for our Jewish future,'” according to the complaint, which was filed in December in Oakland County Probate Court. According to the organization, Davidson had donated $200,000 of the $5 million before his death in March of last year.

Birmingham attorneys Henry Baskin and David Mendelson are representing the New York-based Areivim.