PHOENIX - The State Bar of Arizona has suspended a Phoenix-area attorney for attempting to “publicly shame” a business into settlement.
Peter K. Strojnik was suspended for 30 days and ordered to serve a two-year probation period. He must also undergo chemical dependency treatment and a psychological evaluation.
The suspension stems from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed Strojnik’s client against a Valley restaurant.
“Strojnik told opposing party he had devised methods of public shaming that included creating a website regarding the sexual allegations and personally posted unprofessional comments,” according to a press release from the State Bar.
Officials also said that Strojnik threatened to “destroy the defendant’s business.”
In an email, Strojnik declined to comment on the discipline.
TIES TO CONTROVERSIAL ADA LAWSUITS
Peter K. Strojnik is the son of a Valley attorney with the same first and last name. The elder Peter Strojnik has filed more than 1,700 disability-access lawsuits on behalf of a controversial group called Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID).
The vast majority of lawsuits allege violations with handicap parking signs. AID routinely sent initial settlement demands of $7500, drawing criticism from other business owners, attorneys and federal judges.
The elder Strojnik is also currently under State Bar investigation for his conductin those disability lawsuits. He’s been disciplined by the state bar three different times in his career, including a suspension.
The elder Strojnik was recently sanctioned by a federal judge. He’s also been ordered into court in another case to answer questions about whether his conduct is abusive and unethical.
The junior Strojnik has also filed large batches of lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those cases are not affiliated with AID.
The younger Strojnik’s cases focus on hotels that have not installed pool lifts. Many have been filed in Arizona and California on behalf of a plaintiff named Theresa Brooke.
Earlier this year, a California federal judge dismissed several of Strojnik’s pool lift lawsuits and criticized his conduct, saying he was “extremely disrespectful,” court records show.
“Counsel’s unresponsiveness to the Court’s questions and disrespectful demeanor indicated that Strojnik wanted the Court to rule against his client,” wrote Judge Andrew Guilford in a May 13 ruling. “Indeed, at one point Strojnik tried to incite the Court by accusing it of being a ‘barrier to equality.’ And despite not knowing the Court’s ultimate ruling, Strojnik stated his intention of appealing the Court’s ruling to the Ninth Circuit and all the way to the Supreme Court.”