Richard Foster, the former attorney for former National Team swimmer Dagny Knutson, has been charged with seven ethics violations by the California State Bar Court. Knutson recently won a lawsuit accusing Foster of failing to disclose a conflict of interest when he negotiated her a deal with USA Swimming in 2010.
The Southern California News Group reports that Foster is charged with a laundry list of ethical violations, including “violations of the rules for professional conduct for conflicts of interest from relationships with a party or witness, with an interested person or entity, representation to a former client, communication with a represented party, violation of client confidences, and moral turpitude—concealment.”
A many-year legal battle between Foster and Knutson came to a potential end last month, as a California appeals court reinstated a decision hitting Foster with $617,800 worth of damages to be paid to Knutson. Foster did indicate at the time that he would be filing a petition for rehearing.
The conflict between the two is long and winding, but the simplest version is that Knutson – an 18-year-old professional swimmer in 2010 – was promised by USA Swimming’s National Team Director Mark Schubert that the swimming federation would cover her college tuition if she committed to join an elite training group USA Swimming was building in California. When Schubert was let go by USA Swimming, the federation reneged on the deal, and Knutson hired Foster to procure her a new deal. But Foster had a long history with USA Swimming and personal connections with USA Swimming management, and Knutson says he didn’t disclose that conflict of interest to her while negotiating her a deal much worse than her original agreement.
After a series of decisions, appeals and overturnings of established decisions, a court reinstated a verdict in Knutson’s favor in August, and Foster now owes her $617,800 in damages.
You can read more about the case here: