Attorney sued for proposing insanity defense in criminal case

Kelly Holleran Mar. 17, 2009, 6:53am

A Beaumont man has filed suit against a local lawyer, alleging the lawyer did not adequately represent his son in a criminal case.

Larry Long Sr. claims he paid William Michael Laird $1,500 on March 23, 2007, to represent his son, who was charged with aggravated assault. Laird was to receive an additional $1,500 under a contract agreement.

According to the complaint filed March 12 in Jefferson County District Court, Laird said he intended to raise an insanity defense. Disagreeing with that strategy, Long wanted a new lawyer for his son and requested that Laird return some of his money.

"The said defendant neglected his responsibility at the moment plaintiff received the state's psychiatric evaluation that defendant lead plaintiff to believe said psychiatrist was for plaintiff's son, and said defendant failed to provide plaintiff's son his rights to privilege, and thus plaintiff's son was without counsel and the confidentiality of plaintiff's son confession cannot be maintained," the suit states.

Long, who is representing himself is seeking unspecified exemplary damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief to which he may be entitled.

A lawyer search Web site states that Mike Laird is a former prosecutor with 17 years of criminal law experience.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Case No. B183-520

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