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The attorney for the man suing director Bryan Singer for alleged sexual abuse of a minor was suspended from the practice of law by the Florida State Supreme Court for actions adverse to a client and “engag[ing] in conduct involving dishonesty [or] deceit,” The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The suspension started in 2009 and lasted 18 months.
Suspension is effectively the second-most harsh discipline a court can impose, shy of disbarment.
According to the Court ruling, attorney Jeffrey Herman invested in and ultimately controlled a company that went into business in competition with a client. The Court found that that violated applicable rules of professional conduct, and that Herman’s “failure to call [the client] and inform him of his activities was dishonest and deceitful.”
The client ultimately discovered the issue, sued for breach of fiduciary duty and won on that cause of action. The matter settled out of court, and the client then filed a state bar complaint, which initially resulted in Herman being suspended for 90 days. The Supreme Court extended the suspension to 18 months, longer than initially sought albeit less than the two years the state bar wanted.
Herman has made waves in the past week for a lawsuit on behalf of Michael Egan, who claims he was raped by Singer when Egan was 17 in both Hawaii and California. Herman has scheduled a press conference for Monday afternoon during which he says he will reveal additional suits alleging sexual abuse in Hollywood.
Asked by The Hollywood Reporter if the ruling affected his credibility, Herman says “It’s a good thing I’m not testifying. If I was, I’d certainly bring it up.” He concedes it might affect the perception of his credibility, but adds, “This [sexual abuse] case isn’t about me.”
“It is what it is,” he says. “I thought [the investment] was OK to make.”
Email: jhandel99 at gmail dot com
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