He falls asleep in court. Sometimes, he doesn't show up for trial at all. And then he makes up some outlandish story about why he missed trial -- when really he was asleep in his car, next to a pipe and a bag of cocaine.
"We are asking for his disbarment -- that's obviously as serious as the discipline gets," says Martin Cole, director of the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.[jump]
Lundeen's bad behavior has been going on for a long time, according to a petition to the Supreme Court from the professional group. He's taken money from his clients, not done the work, and kept the cash anyway. In one case, he ignored phone calls from a client with a serious head injury -- so bad that the poor man couldn't even keep the details of his own case straight. Lundeen didn't even bother to provide the injured client with his legal file.
Act like this for long and pretty soon people start to complain. Since March 2010, the lawyer's board has received seven ethics complaints about Lundeen.
Then this March, Lundeen really blew it when he didn't bother to show up for the second day of a felony trial in Ramsey County.
But it got even worse when Lundeen tried to explain himself. First, he told the judge he wasn't there because he was needed at a civil case in another county. Then, he changed his story, claiming he'd been attacked and had woken up at a hospital in Iowa. He changed the details yet again, claiming that he was treated in a chiropractor's office, not a hospital.
The judge called the chiropractor in question, who said he hadn't treated Lundeen at all. Turns out that Lundeen was lying all along. He missed court because he was in jail, arrested after police found him fast asleep inside his car, with a pipe and a baggie by his side.
So you might say that Lundeen's website is, well, just a touch exaggerated:
"If you are faced with criminal charges, you can trust the law firm of Steven P. Lundeen to aggressively and diligently defend your rights and liberty at all stages of the criminal justice process."
Oh, yeah -- one more thing. On Wednesday, Lundeen missed another court date.
To his unfortunate client: We highly suggest you find a new lawyer.