PHOENIX - Updated as of August 30, 2011
Longtime Arizona attorney Grant Goodman made serious allegations over the past year against attorneys and guardians in Maricopa County Probate Court.
“Assets are being raped and pillaged every day,” said Goodman.
Accusations like that may have landed him in trouble.
“The conduct that’s going on in probate is in effect, unconstitutional.”
The Arizona Supreme Court suspended Goodman's license to practice law with what is called an Interim Suspension. Goodman was temporarily suspended last month awaiting this final order. * See Final Order of Interim Suspension
According to a press release issued by the State Bar of Arizona, the disciplinary judge indicated that Goodman’s conduct "will result in substantial harm, loss or damage to the public, the legal profession or the administration of justice."
The suspension comes after Goodman filed lawsuits on behalf of incapacitated adults; adults Maricopa County Probate Court ruled couldn't handle their money or medical care.
Some of the people mentioned in those lawsuits surrounding probate court are mentioned in the motion filed by the state bar against Goodman. The motion also notes a complaint by one of Goodman’s clients filed December 3, 2010. The client hired Goodman to represent him in a mortgage fraud case that included malpractice charges against another attorney.
The ABC15 Investigators reported on those lawsuits in a series of stories uncovering flaws in the Maricopa County Probate System.
Families accused the court of allowing their loved ones to be isolated and heavily medicated while their assets were liquidated.
In an interview with ABC15 more than a year ago, Goodman described the county's probate process as criminal.
“These people are more organized than the mob. Plus, they have a court rubberstamp the proceeding.”
Many of the people mentioned in the motion that led to the Goodman's suspension, are people mentioned in our investigations. They are the same people Goodman is suing.
Goodman claims that it is no coincidence.
“You asked the question earlier about retaliation. It goes well above and beyond that. It is just simply about money,” said Goodman.
The bar claims he is a danger to the public. Goodman replied, “I am a danger to the judges and lawyers that I've sued.”
Goodman called the probate process "racketeering" claiming lawyers and guardians were controlling these people and taking all their money.
“There is no one willing to take up their cause," said Goodman.
The bar's suspension which came without a hearing, accuses Goodman of consistent misconduct.
The allegations also turn the tables on Goodman by claiming he was taking advantage of the very incapacitated adults he was hired to represent.
“I have not taken a nickel, not a nickel from any of these people that I represent. And they still continue harp about that,” said Goodman, “I am after the money? Really? I am after, in fact, that they have taken all the money. That's what they object to.”
The next step is for the Arizona Supreme Court to make the temporary suspension permanent. That could stay in effect for five years. Goodman could eventually get disbarred.
Follow this link to the special web page, “Greed v Guardianship” to see the entire series of investigative stories on probate court.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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