This member of the Bar is also behind bars
by Carey Spivak and Dan Bice
Dec. 13, 2003
Charles Hausmann gives new meaning to the term
Though he pleaded guilty back in June 2002 to
200 clients out of $70,000, Hausmann is still a licensed attorney.
The only catch: Since Nov. 28, he's been a guest of the
government, and he will continue living in a cell at the minimum
security federal prison in Oxford until late January.
Despite his conviction and earlier admission that he
professional ethics, state regulators have yet to take any type of
action against Hausmann's law license. Recent mailings that the law
firm of Hausmann-McNally sent to accident victims who may need
a lawyer listed Hausmann as the top name on the letterhead. Attorneys
from the firm, which was not implicated in the wrongdoing, did not
return our calls.
In fact, if you were to call the State Bar of
and ask whether Hausmann was an OK guy, as we did Friday, here's what a
chirpy receptionist would tell you:
"Mr. Hausmann was admitted to the Bar in 1971. He's in
standing and has no disciplinary action against him."
And if you happened to check Martindale.com - a
national directory of lawyers - you might well be impressed by
Hausmann's ethics rating. The convicted barrister scored an "AV," which
the site defines as indicating "very high to preeminent legal ability
and very high ethical standards as established by confidential opinions
from members of the Bar."
Guess those exalted Bar members weren't aware of the
deal that Hausmann cooked up with a local chiropractor.
Hausmann and Scott Rise arranged for the
clients to the doc, who kicked back 20% of the fees to Hausmann's
favorite charities. According to the indictment, some of the money that
went to Career Youth Development, a non-profit social services
agency, ended up paying for landscaping work in Hausmann's own backyard.
After pleading guilty, Hausmann appealed the
that he didn't pocket any cash, though he admitted violating
professional ethics - all of which has been in the papers.
Still, the Office of Lawyer Regulation hasn't even
complaint against Hausmann.
Apparently, when a lawyer is involved, the regulators
every single "i" is dotted and "t" crossed before they move. Hausmann's
appeal wasn't shot down until late September.
Though his lips were zipped on questions about whether
is an investigation, Bill Weigel, a
top dog at the state Office of Lawyer Regulation, agreed that the
snail's pace his office is taking on this one could raise an eyebrow or
Said Weigel: "There's significant disconnect in
when an attorney is incarcerated and still has a license."