August 2022 Millar’s JurisDiction - Livestreaming

by Richard W. Millar, Jr.

According to my usual exhaustive (only a few stones unturned) research, “livestream” is a transitive verb that means to stream a live event over the internet. That, I suppose, differentiates it from streaming services such as Netflix and others that “stream” previously manufactured content. Some have predicted that livestreaming will be the next big thing that is going to transform the entire video content business.

I can see, however, that there are obvious livestreaming candidates, such as concerts, sporting events, political conventions, and the like. But, even though I like to think I have a relatively active imagination, it would never have occurred to me that law offices would be likely users of this technology.

That is, of course, until now.

A lawyer in Las Vegas was recently arrested for, among other things, having sex with clients in exchange for legal services. I suspect that is something which has been going on since the dawn of humanity, or at least since there were lawyers and clients, but what makes it different, or technically au courant in this instance, is that these encounters were allegedly livestreamed.

Throughout his office.

So the staff could watch.

This, I suspect, or at least hope, is new territory even for Las Vegas.

This all came to light when authorities received an e-mail from a person the Reno Gazette Journal described as “a frightened but fed-up former employee.”

An investigation was launched which culminated in a visit to the lawyer’s office by an undercover officer posing as a potential client. During the faux interview, he allegedly closed his office door, walked over to give her a hug, made sexual comments to her, and tried to kiss her. She left, declining his offer to walk her to her car. The next day he was arrested.

Unsurprisingly, former female employees, some of whom had resigned en masse one day, told of groping and kissing and said that later he would “shower them with gifts and money” so he would not be reported for sexual harassment. He also allegedly showed them naked pictures of women and videos of him having sex.

It was also reported that investigators obtained and viewed one video of him having sex with a client whilst waiting on Nevada’s version of CourtCall when it “ended abruptly” due to court call interruptus when his case was called. Fortunately for all concerned, the court call was not livestreamed.

The lawyer’s website, which allegedly used to describe him as a criminal defense and family law lawyer, reportedly bragged that “with me on your side, nobody can bully you. Not your spouse. Not the district attorney. Not the insurance company. Not anybody! Not ever!” The website now consists of a “Dear Clients” letter which informs the readers that “due to a recent personal situation, I am unable to provide . . . further representation . . . ,” which, I suppose you could say, changes an overstatement into an understatement.

I don’t know whether the Nevada bar folks have tumbled to this news yet, although if I can find out about it, they certainly should be able to. Given that the lawyer was suspended in 2009 for five years for “misappropriation” of client funds—a polite way to say “stealing”—in the amount of $398,345 to support a gambling addiction, and given that he had two previous private reprimands, they would be hard put not to take another swing at him.

In any event, to paraphrase the former Oldsmobile slogan:
This is not your Grandfather’s Netflix!

Richard W. Millar, Jr. is Of Counsel with the firm of FSG Lawyers PC in Irvine. He can be reached at rmillar@fsglawyers.com.