Drugs and Sex With Clients: This Florida Lawyer Went Too Far

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on May 09, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Disbarment spells the end of (former) Florida public defender Linda Dawn Hadad who allegedly descended into a bit of midlife crisis over the last couple of years.

Although people may still claim to be a little fuzzy on attorney ethics and professional responsibility, almost anyone can tell you that sex with your clients and taking payments in illicit drugs falls far beyond that line, no matter how fuzzy you think it may be.

Hadad's Misconduct Gets Personal

Hadad was first admitted to the Florida Bar in 2002 and managed to stay working as an attorney for a little more than a decade when information started to leak out that she was abusing her privileges as an attorney to schedule meetings with clients in order to facilitate illicit transactions such as favors for drugs. According to court documents, Hadad also had "inappropriate intimate relationships with inmates at the Volusia County jail" and had also engaged in phone sex with them on several occasions.

Her other misconduct seems rather tame by comparison: neglecting cases, showing up late to court appearances, and closing her law office without telling her clients.

Bar Documents Reveal Even More

Given the breadth, extent, and frequency of Hadad's misdeeds, it's almost surprising that it took the Florida Bar this long to decide that disbarment was the right way to go. According to papers that detailed her case, Hadad had admitted in her hearing that she had taken several drugs including ecstasy and meth, as well as taking a couple of prescription drugs without a prescription.

And then 2015 was a real party year for her. There are five mugshots of Hadad. Four of them are from four separate incidents all occurring in 2015 alone. The crimes ranged from driving with a suspended license, attempting to flee arrest, petty theft, and others. The first mug shot was for DUI.

Don't Have a Midlife Crisis

We're not sure what happened to Hadad, but it's a sad turn of events. We're hopeful that attorneys can remind themselves that a few professional slip ups can quickly lead to it all crashing down.

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