Friday, August 09, 2013

Fake Comments and Attorney Ethics

Barry Schwarz has made dozens of comments to online news stories discussing "the long-running and literally heated battle between the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and a next-door condominium called Museum Tower. The condominium stands accused of producing glare that has compromised the museum’s galleries and garden." His comments "contained accurate facts and data" in an effort to sway public opinion against the sculpture center.

Unfortunately, Barry Schwarz is not a real person. He is instead "former Dallas television anchor, Mike Snyder, long a fixture in the city and now a public relations executive who had been hired by the [condo's] outside law firm," according to a recent story in the New York Times. 

Strasburger & Price (the law firm that hired Mr. Snyder) hired Mr. Snyder as a consultant in the litigation, and a representative of the firm states it had no idea Mr. Snyder was engaging in such behavior.

The question remains, however, whether an Ohio attorney would be violating the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct if Mr. Snyder had been hired by them. If you're scratching your head, check out our collection of Ohio CLE materials on ethics and the RPCs. You'll find them on the second floor to the left of the main entrance of the library.