A local criminal defense lawyer was recently disciplined for misconduct for the second time since 2011.
Harry Tun received an informal admonition—the least serious sanction possible—for giving legal advice to a person who wasn't his client. The Oct. 10 admonition came two years after Tun was temporarily suspended for double billing the District of Columbia Superior Court for his representation of indigent defendants.
Tun, a solo practitioner and member of the D.C. Bar since 1988, could not immediately be reached today for comment.
According to the admonition letter, Tun represented a defendant charged in a 2007 murder. While interviewing a government witness, the witness asked Tun if she could invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid having to testify at trial. Tun allegedly told her she could not, as did another person in the room at the time identified only as M.B.
The Office of Bar Counsel said Tun shouldn't have given any legal advice to the witness under the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, given the potential conflict with his client's interests. Tun later left the case after the government said it might call him as a witness to testify about whether M.B. attempted to obstruct justice by influencing the witness' testimony; a jury later acquitted M.B. of the obstruction charge.
Bar counsel opened a case in 2009 after a complaint about Tun's actions was filed, according to the admonition letter.
In August 2011, Tun was suspended from practicing for a year for double billing the court on 162 occasions between 1999 and 2003. He repaid $16,034, which was the difference between what he double billed and money he was still owed from other cases.
After his year-long suspension, Tun became an active member of the bar again in August 2012. He was on probation through August 2013. The informal admonition won't affect his status as an active member.