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Another Reason Not to Buy Drugs From Clients

By William Vogeler, Esq. on July 03, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

There are at least three good reasons not to buy drugs from a client.

One, it creates an insurmountable conflict of interest if you are both arrested on drug charges. Two, even if only your client is busted, the price for your drugs will triple.

And three, your name might end up in a blog post about why you shouldn't buy drugs from clients. It's not really funny, but reality can be hard to deal with and sometimes you just have to laugh.


You probably know a lawyer-addict; you just don't know them by that name. The American Bar Association says lawyers hide their addictions because they don't want to ruin their reputations.

"Lawyers with major depression or substance abuse disorders will go underground, and are really good at hiding these things," Buchanan said in a podcast published by the ABA Journal.

Kenneth Linn is an example. He had an addiction problem, managed to stay sober for a while, but then started buying heroin from a client who was facing drug charges.

Linn bought heroin from his client "on multiple occasions," according to disciplinary records. He stipulated to a one-year suspension, and a year in the Lawyer's Assistance Program.

"Quite Serious"

A New York attorney grievance committee said Linn's misconduct and disciplinary record were "quite serious."

However, the committee found that "significant factors" mitigated his punishment. His advanced age, expressions of remorse and voluntary cooperation with the assistance program helped.

The stipulation did not explain all of Linn's misconduct, but it was clear that his problems were related to his drug abuse. That and buying drugs from a client.

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