Grant Goodman, a Phoenix (now suspended) attorney who had his 15 minutes of fame a few years ago as an alleged champion of local folks being abused by their legal guardians/conservators and by the Maricopa County Probate Court, has lost yet another case--his own.
In a memorandum decision filed January 25 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a panel shot down Goodman's appeal of serious sanctions imposed against him by federal judge Mary Murguia, who is based in Phoenix.
Last summer, the Arizona Supreme Court suspended Goodman from the practice of law for up to five years following a finding that he habitually exploited vulnerable Probate Court clients
William O'Neil, the presiding disciplinary judge for the Arizona State Bar, wrote that Goodman's actions would be potentially harmful to the public and the legal profession if he had been allowed to continue practicing law.
Our former colleague Sarah Fenske (now the big kahuna editor over at sister paper LA Weekly) dissected Goodman's sleazy M.O. in an April 2010 piece that readers can peruse here.
"A growing number of probate court observers worry,' Fenske wrote, "that Grant Goodman is less a white knight than a shark who smells blood in the water -- and that he intends to use Maricopa County's most vulnerable for both good publicity and a fat payday."
Earlier, the Phoenix barrister had been trumpeted as a shining star in a series of Arizona Republic stories about troubles in the county's Probate Court.
In truth, Goodman quickly became known (and reviled) for filing endless court papers against judges, court-appointed guardians and lawyers under the guise of protecting Probate Court clients, then try and rake in the legal fees.
Without taking oral argument, the appellate court last week said that Judge Murguia had not abused her discretion by issuing the sanctions against Goodman.
"Among other actions," the Ninth Circuit panel wrote, "[Goodman] improperly tried to remove a probate action, misprepresented the law and the facts to the court, and caused [another law firm] to defend a baseless action before his client voluntarily dismissed it at the eleventh hour.
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"Goodman's remaining contentions, including those related to the district court's alleged bias in imposing sanctions, are unpersuasive. Goodman's motion, in which he appears to ask this court to dismiss the state disciplinary proceedings against him or to void his suspension from practice by the State Bar, is denied."
To grab a friendly sports cliche, Grant Goodman has been shut out.