James Fagan’s Legal Woes

1218031453In June, Rep. James Fagan engendered the ire of bloggers around the country when he said that, as a defense attorney, he would “rip apart” victims of child rape on the witness stand if the Legislature passed tough mandatory sentencing laws.

According to a report in today’s Globe, it’s about the only thing he would do as an attorney. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a malpractice suit lodged by one of Fagan’s former clients will go forward.

Humberto Correia alleges Fagan and another lawyer, William Brown, were useless in defending him against charges he set fire to his Taunton business in 1996.

Fagan. . . failed to show that Correia did not have a fire alarm in the building, as prosecutors wrongly claimed; failed to tell the jury that Correia’s insurance company paid his claim after concluding it was not arson; and failed to show that Correia’s finances, while strained, were not disastrous.

Fagan also admitted that he didn’t hire an arson specialist to examine the evidence and undermine the prosecution’s case. Correia was acquitted in 2004, after he got a new trial and a new lawyer.

Who knew the man who gave such passionate (but ill-considered) remarks on the House floor is allegedly a real-life version of Lionel Hutz?

Photo from Mass.gov