To be fair, in the practice of law, there are times one argues for an expansion of the law, or one postures. There also are times when one states in pleadings that, “The evidence strongly suggests...” or, “There is no evidence to support defendant’s claim....” In short, one not only leaves room for error as a way to preserve one’s credibility with the court, but also to avoid proffering false evidence to the court. Avoiding offering false information to the court is an obligation under the professional rules, as signing one’s name to a pleading means that the information presented is believed to be true, based on reasonable efforts by the attorney.
This is illustrated by the old law school tale, perhaps apocryphal, in which defense counsel, a heavyset man, loudly exclaims, “It simply is not possible that the plaintiff’s contentions about my client’s ladder are true. My client, XYC corporation, makes the toughest ladders out there, capable of holding many times the plaintiff’s weight. See for yourself!” Whereupon he scales the ladder, only to have the thing disintegrate under him, leaving him in a heap on the floor, and with a verdict against his client to boot.
Similarly, if one were to assert in pleadings that Bob Malm is a pedophile based solely on the fact that Bob is a priest, and many priests are pedophiles, that would be highly inappropriate and likely grounds for sanctions. I can’t simply show up in court with an unsupported assertion like that and expect smooth sailing. (For the record, I do not claim Bob to be a pedophile and have seen no evidence to support that conclusion.)
So, Jeff Chiow cannot assert his claims that I never practiced law, and never served as a police officer willy-nilly. These claims would need to be supported by research, and would properly be proferred to the court as, “There is no evidence to support the defendant’s claim....”
Moreover, having used multiple attorneys within his firm, as well as resources from another law firm in town, and having expended what he claims was more than $100,000 worth of legal fees, Jeff Chiow knew, or had reason to know, that this was the case. Additionally, it is hardly a great leap of logic for Sugarland, who claims to have done extensive research on the case, to surmise that it would have made sense to check bar records in Pennsylvania. After all, I did undergraduate there and was a state resident in 1986–facts readily ascertainable. Additionally, a Google search readily reveals information on having served as a police officer.
In short, Jeff Chiow lied to the courts. And while it does not appear he will face disciplinary charges for his misconduct, his behavior is damaging both to his personal reputation and to that of his client, Grace Church.
When one looks at the situation in the context of Bob Malm’s perjury, one quickly understands how Jesus came to refer to the Scribes and Pharisees as “broods of vipers.”