Unprofessionals in Law

March 19, 2012

Divorce lawyer kicks in door, hugs client during illegal entry

Source: Shutterstock

Building good client relationships is important. But one New Mexico divorce lawyer seems to have taken things too far after breaking and entering into his client’s estranged husband’s home.

Reminiscent of an episode of Police Camera Action, lawyer Raymond Van Arnam was caught on CCTV turning up to Anthony Stonecipher’s home with client Melissa Stonecipher and several employees from his firm. Ignoring the ‘no trespassing’ signs, Mr Van Arnam proceeded to kick their way into the house before walking out with legal papers and a truck full of furniture. And, of course, the family dog.

Caught red-handed (or should that be red-faced?), Mr Arnam pleaded guilty to criminal damage to property, criminal trespassing and larceny, and was handed a 30-day jail sentence and $7,500 fine.

In his defence argument, Mr Van Arnam said he had decided to offer this additional service after Mr Stonecipher allegedly bullied his client and refused to allow her to pick up her property.

In a bizarre twist to the story, Mr Van Arnam apparently decided that it was in for a penny, in for a pound and mid-raid was caught on CCTV asking Mrs Stonecipher for a hug. ‘Woah, woah. Wait, wait. I need a hug. I need some relaxation,’ he was caught on tape as saying. Smooth operator, or what?

Incriminating videos are available for perusal at Mail Online. KM

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