Mike is an Associate Solicitor at Evans & Evans Solicitors in Cardiff. He is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). He lives with his younger brother Jack, who is an alcoholic and for whom Mike feels responsible. Jack has been in trouble with the police recently as he gets quite aggressive when drunk.
The stress of this responsibility is taking its toll on Mike. Mike has discussed his home pressures with his senior partner, Mark Thomas but to no avail. Mark has been piling the work on Mike and he is finding it hard to cope. He himself has noticed that things have slipped, including the fact that he has not renewed his practicing certificate this year. He often has to slip out of the office early, comes in late and is not always as careful as he could be with client information and files.
On the evening in question, Mike had been out in the center of Cardiff with a couple of his mates and his brother Jack and they all had had several drinks. They had been asked to leave one club because they were visibly drunk and were singing very loudly and moved on to another club in the city.
Whilst there, Jack, Mike’s brother started pushing another man whom he claimed had been staring at him. A fistfight ensued and Mike tried to intervene to stop it but it became really violent. Jack picked up a bottle and thrust it into the face of the other man, wounding him. The police were called and Jack was arrested and taken off to the police station and charged. Mike was not arrested but accompanied Jack to the station.
Jack said that he wanted Mike to defend him in his capacity as a criminal lawyer. Jack told Mike that he wanted him to say that he picked up the bottle and waved it at the other man in an act of self-defense. Mike had seen Jack pick up the bottle and wave it at the other man. He knew that Jack had been deliberately provocative but he felt very protective of his brother and knew that he could be facing a custodial sentence.
Mike, therefore, is feeling very stressed by this and knew that he had fudged the truth when giving a statement to the police. The next day, Mike is very late for work, missing two appointments with new clients. When he finally arrives, the senior partner asks to see him immediately as he has discovered pictures of the fight plastered all over Facebook in the group called “Cardiff City Connections”. Mike also appears in these photographs looking rather worse for wear.
A member of the public has recognized Mike from Evans and Evans and has inserted a rude caption about the firm into a speech bubble next to Mike’s mouth. The senior partner is furious. Advise Mike, his senior partner, and the firm, Evans, and Evans about the legal ethical issues which may have arisen in this scenario. In your answer, you should only refer to ethical issues and professional conduct which governs solicitors practicing in England and Wales. You should not discuss any elements of Criminal law unless they are also a matter of professional conduct.