Former Marion County prosecutor, Carl Brizzi, faces yet another legal malpractice suit, according to the Indiana Lawyer. The most recent law suit, filed last week, accuses Brizzi of failing to adequately represent former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White in a criminal case that led to to White’s removal from office.
White first hired Brizzi in August 2011 to represent him in a criminal trial in Hamilton County where he was facing seven charges of voter fraud. White was later convicted of six of the seven charges, including false registration, voting in another precinct and theft, according to the Indiana Lawyer. He was acquitted of fraud on a financial institution. As a result of the convictions, White was removed from his office of Secretary of State.
A complaint was filed against Brizzi just last week in Marion Superior Court. The 31-page complaint, filed by attorney Andrea L. Ciobanu, claims that Brizzi was ignorant of areas of the law and failed to mount an adequate defense for White. The complaint also alleges that Brizzi was experiencing health problems at the time that delayed the trial but did not inform White.
Like many complaints filed recently against Brizzi, it alleges legal malpractice, breach of contract, neglect, reckless infliction of emotional distress, constructive fraud, fraud, and negligence, the Indiana Lawyer reports. Ciobanu writes in the complaint that Brizzi chose to not present a defense strategy without the blessing of his client.
“It does not meet the professional standard of care to wait until the night before and the day of the close of the state of Indiana’s case to become frantic and aggressive with the plaintiff in front of two other witnesses,” about not putting on evidence, the complaint alleges.
“Several of (White’s) witnesses were waiting to testify at the courthouse or a nearby vicinity, and (Brizzi) abruptly and mid-trial decided ‘not to put on a case’ even though Brizzi was paid in full to put on a trial,” the complaint states. “And he always led (White) to believe, up to that point, that he would put on a case.”
White is seeking damages including harm to reputation, loss of employment, mental anguish as well as attorney fees and costs for his post-conviction and disciplinary action. His law license is currently suspended.
In support of the claim of mental anguish, the complaint states: “Brizzi engaged in irrational action such as slamming doors, cursing and yelling at lay persons in the judicial center conference room, making fantastic boasts as well as using degrading language to an already exhausted (White) to wear him down.”
This suit is the second malpractice claim that a former Indiana officeholder has brought against Brizzi. According to the Indiana Lawyer, former Hancock County Coroner, Tamara Vangundy, sued Brizzi in May 2013, claiming that his poor legal advice cost her an opportunity to see re-election to office after she plead guilty to a felony count of official misconduct. Said law suit is pending.