Should a lawyer be subject to discipline for tossing a racoon off of his fishing boat? Florida disciplinary authorities have opened an investigation into a lawyer who shooed a racoon off of his boat–and posted a video of it all on Facebook. “The racoon is presumed to have drowned.” See Tampa Bay Times, Florida Bar Opens Investigation into Clearwater Lawyer Who Shooed Raccoon Off His Boat (May 16, 2019).
Whether this lawyer should be subject to discipline turns on whether he committed “a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.” See Fl. Rules of Prof’l Conduct r. 8.4(b). A New York City lawyer was disbarred recently for violently killing his girlfriend’s poodle “Snoopy.” See Matter of Pastor, 2017 NY Slip Op. 06729, (App. Div. 1st Dept. Sep. 28, 2017). A Maryland lawyer was suspended for microwaving a cat. But a racoon? I think not.
The video is here: