Manhattan attorney admits “addiction to lying”

A judicial panel has given Nathaniel Weisel a nine-month suspension for his sins. Perhaps because it is too clear that not all addictions go away in nine months, Weisel (besides the suspension) was ordered to take the ethics portion of the bar exam and ‘appropriately address his pathological behavior’ prior to his reinstatement.” [Andrew Keshner, New York Law Journal; Jessica Dye, Reuters] The pathological behavior, as described by NYLJ, included the following:

In September 2009, a client of Weisel asked him to start a civil action, which he did not do. To assure the client the matter was being addressed, Weisel created a fraudulent settlement agreement, fictional index number, caption and settlement amount. He randomly chose an opposing counsel and forged his signature on the document. The fabrication was not filed in court. Before the client discovered the settlement had been fabricated, Weisel filed a valid Small Claims action. After the purportedly opposing counsel learned his signature had been forged, Weisel wrote him an apology and said he acted to give himself more time to properly file the action.


  • It’s a good thing he apologized to the other attorney. Imagine bilking a client that way and not splitting the fee!


  • People go attorneys to advocate a position. As long as the attorney has some minimal basis for a position to represent to a judge/jury, then the attorney runs with it. If the attorney doesn’t, the client, such as an insurance carrier, doesn’t do business with that firm.

    What Weisel did was simple malpractice of not filing the lawsuit, then tried to cover it up with a fictitious settlement. It would have been much easier for Weisel to say, ‘Yeah I screwed up’, and roll the dice if the former client could find a malpractice attorney. Likewise, Weisel could have told the bar when a complaint is filed, he didn’t think the case had merit. But he did not and did the biggest mistake.

    Nothing amazes me as ethics by many continue to be watered down.