Long-time Wilmington criminal defense lawyer Joseph Hurley will get apublic reprimand.
He was also ordered to receive training with a human resources professional, after an investigation into correspondence with disparaging remarks as well as sexual and ethnic references.
The Delaware Supreme Court disagreed with some determinations from the Board of Professional Responsibility but accepted its recommendations for training and for a non-private reprimand.
The professional responsibility board’s determinations came after an investigation from the Delaware Office of Disciplinary Counsel regarding correspondence with disparaging statements that went to a former client, as well as correspondence with deputy attorneys general.
The correspondence with deputy AG ’s included a presumption that a male deputy AG was Jewish, while Hurley noted his Catholic background.
Other correspondence and testimony revealed a range of remarks to female deputy attorney generals that went into appearance, intelligence, and sexual matters. (See copy of the Supreme Court ruling and exhibits below)383, 2017
The ruling noted that Hurley had been admonished in the past about his correspondence with deputy attorneys general, but had responded by claimingan attempt at censorship.
Hurley has been known as a go-to defense attorney in Delaware, with his theatrical style generating a lot of ink in the local media. He also has been nationally ranked as a top defense attorney.
Justices noted that they were not bound by the decision of the Board of Professional Responsibility.
It was noted in court filings that the penalty could have a private reprimand or more severe penalties.
Hurley represented himself in the matter.