Divorce Lawyer Claims to “Channel” Client’s Deceased Wife

You can’t make up a story like this!

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

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7 thoughts on “Divorce Lawyer Claims to “Channel” Client’s Deceased Wife

  1. Arizona attorney Charna Johnson represented my former wife in our divorce proceedings. When my former spouse and I seperated we enjoyed an excellent relationship given the fact that we would soon be divorced. In fact, we (wife & I) would often dine together despite living apart. Frankly it was during this period of time our relationship was amicable, peaceful and most enjoyable.

    Enter attorney Charna Johnson.

    My former wife was a CPA. She was a senior partner in an accounting firm. I found myself unemployed yet wanted nothing from her. I still loved her. I would do nothing to harm, or hurt her financially. I instructed her to have her attorney Charna Johnson prepare a settlement agreement where I would give up my interest in our home, my portion of the community property, and would waive spousal maintenance (alimony) payments to me, and more importantly, waive my interest in my wife’s CPA practice that billed over $ 1 Million dollars per year. I wanted nothing from my wife.

    Charna Johnson was instructed by my wife to prepare the proposed settlement agreement and have ready for my signature on or about September 30, 2007. I stopped by her office in North Phoenix on or about this date and was told by her assistant that ” Charna didn’t have time to prepare said agreement.”

    Ms. Johnson knew that I was leaving the next day for a scheduled trip to Burmuda (which my former spouse planned to join me).

    On the date of the trip to Bermuda my spouse disappeared and sent me an email informing me that she never planeed to join me on the trip. I found this behavior so out of character for my soon to be ex-wife. This was irrational behavior which she hadn’t displayed prior to Ms. Johnson getting involved.

    I went to Bermuda and upon my return I drove past my wife’s residence and placed a rose and a coffee table book about Bermuda on her doorstep. I then noticed a document taped to the front door. It was a letter written to me and signed by attorney Charna Johnson informing me that I was to ” cease and desist” all contact with her client (my wife) and that I was to stop harassing her.

    I was crushed.

    I had never harassed or displayed irrational behavior towards anyone – less yet my wife. Yes, we had our differences but we never yelled, harrassed, or threatened each other. Our relationship despite our problems (financial) were always civil, generally respectful, and never consisted of yelling, screaming, threats or harassment.

    The next day I was served with a Restraining Order by the Court. Ms. Johnson prepared a document that was filed with the Court suggesting that I had been stalking my wife and that she was in fear of her life.

    I was absolutley crushed.

    Nothing could have been further from the truth.

    Long story short, despite my wife signing the restraining order and swearing to the court that it was true –

    My divorce proceedings went on for one and one-half years. Why?

    Because it was in Ms. Johnson’s best interests to continue to pour gasoline on our relationship – set the fire – and sit back and watch the flames.

    Charna Johnson did not serve my former wife well. My former wife ended up paying Ms. Johnson a sizeable about of money and was required by the court to pay me spousal maintenance – which I never wanted.

    Charna Johnson knowingly created and manipulated scenarious in our divorce proceedings and knowingly lied to the court in an attempt to hurt me – when she didn’t have any reason to do so (remember I had told my soon to be ex wife that I wanted nothing – all Charna Johnson had to do was draw up the agreement which I had agreed to sign – waiving all my rights to community property – and my interest in my wifes $ 1.0 million dollar professional accounting firm.

    This story regarding Charna Johnson does not surprise me. She is now accused of lying to the State Bar. Hell, she lied, fabricated and orchestrated all sorts of lies against me in Superior Court for no other reason than to estend our divorce proceedings out over one and one-half years – when all she needed to do was prepare a simple document and make it available for me to sign.

    1. Charna Johnson represented me in my divorce when I filed in 1996. I was overcharged for phone calls and postage to send letter after letter to my ex’s attorney (why didn’t she just call to communicate?). I got my divorce but got very little else. She never worked to get my portion of the house (and I had an 11 yr old daughter with me at the time), or any retirement benefits of my husband. She was the lawyer from hell as far as helping her client. I often felt she was working for my ex rather than me and I was being nice about the divorce.

  2. Ray Thank you for your contribution to this story. It is always beneficial to hear from someone who has first hand knowledge.

    In my experience, lawyers like Ms. Johnson have long track records of unprofessional and incompetent behavior. However, they get away with it for years, even decades, because no one wants to report them to the governing authorities. Lawyers are well aware of colleagues with these problems, however, to get involved in professional discipline as a whistle blower often leads to criticism and alienation.

    Judges are also aware of these lawyers but do not report them, probably because they do not believe it is their role to do so.

    Clients who bear the brunt of improper conduct are in the best position to complain, but many consumers of lawyers’ services are unsophisticated and have difficulty maneuvering the system.

    Those clients who have the ability to voice their complaint in a rational manner and the ability to follow through are worth their weight in gold. Without them, justice suffers.

    I appreciate your input.

    Best regards, Georgialee

  3. Wow, this lady sounds like a real piece of work.

    Honestly, if you want to believe in psychics (despite the fact that every observable fact indicates that they’re full of it), that’s your deal. If you believe that you’re a psychic, and people are willing to pay you for your time in that capacity, go for it, I guess.

    But if you’re a lawyer, and want to be a Psychic Friend, maybe you should turn in your law license. The two jobs seem diametrically opposed, in many situations.

  4. I just heard something this evening on Channel 12 news supposedly about Ms. Johnson being disbarred. I could find, however, no news articles in a google search. But I did learn about this disciplinary action. Apparently, the penalty, if I read the documents correctly, indicate she was suspended for a year with two years probation to follow the end of the suspension.

    In the mid-1990s, Charna Johnson represented me in my divorce. I had previously hired a different attorney who turned out to be incredibly inept.

    I fired my first attorney and retained Ms. Johnson because my brother had previously retained her for representation in his divorce a few years earlier.

    Given that my experience with attorney Johnson was completely different from what I’ve read tonight here and in the hearing officer’s report and the disciplinary committee’s report, I wanted to post a comment.

    My (now) ex-wife became a Mormon convert because of the proselytizing conduct of her attorney immediately after we separated. And her attorney did his best to drag things out.

    Anyway, there was no misconduct by Ms. Johnson while she represented me. She was successful in getting the other attorney to quit playing games just to drag things out. And her fees, at that time seemed reasonable.

    I have no idea what transpired in her life between the time my divorce was final (Dec 1995) and when the drama started as described in your blog above and in the disciplinary action taken by the Supreme Court and/or the State Bar. But in the mid-1990s she was doing a competent job and I appreciated how she was able to help bring things to a close.

  5. Hi, you have a nice blog but occasionally I encounter a issue where I can’t view the right nav toolbar. It is mainly on the main page. Best wishes

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