Arizona lawyer Charna Johnson began acting for Chad Lakridis in his divorce proceedings. A year into the process, Mr. Lakridis’ wife committed suicide, thus ending the divorce action. But the lawyer/client relationship continued as Charna Johnson assisted Mr. Lakridis with the probate of his deceased wife’s estate and her parents’ challenge to the estate.
Things took a bizarre turn when Ms. Johnson informed her client that she believed that his dead wife’s spirit now inhabited her body and that his wife wished to engage in sexual relations with him. Apparently she convinced herself and her client that his wife spoke from the great beyond through Ms Johnson.
The situation eventually came to the attention of the Arizona State Bar’s Disciplinary Commission on an “unrelated matter”. During the hearing of the “unrelated matter”, Ms. Johnson was asked and provided sworn evidence with respect to her experience channelling dead persons. She denied any involvement in channelling.
When the Lakridis matter came before the Commission, the hearing officer determined that based on the evidence in the Lakridis complaint, Ms. Johnson’s testimony in the first hearing was perjured.
At the Lakridis hearing two experts disagreed as to whether Ms. Johnson was delusional. The hearing officer determined there was no sexual relationship between lawyer and client. The officer further determined that the channelling had not prejudiced Mr. Lakridis.
The sole problem was Ms. Johnson’s decision to lie under oath and for that he recommended a six month suspension from the Bar, despite Ms. Johnson’s reliance on former Secretary of State Alexander Haig’s well-known maxim (borrowed from Winston Churchill):
“That’s not a lie, it’s a terminological inexactitude. Also, a tactical misrepresentation.”
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang