Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Case Law Development: Kansas Family Law Attorney Suspended Indefinitely

In a disciplinary case that appears to include nearly every major violation of the ethics rules possible in three different family law cases, including abandoning clients, settling cases without client authority, and diverting client funds,  the Supreme Court of Kansas indefinitely suspended the attorney.  A minority of the court would have disbarred the attorney, but the majority agreed with the hearing panel that the attorney's struggles with depression and cocaine addiction and his work on recovery over the previous year's time were mitigating factors. 

According to the ABA Commission on Lawyer's Assistance Programs, "while ten percent of the general population has problems with alcohol abuse, anywhere from fifteen to eighteen percent of the lawyer population battles the same problem." I have long wondered whether those numbers might be even higher for attorneys who practice in the emotionally stressful context of family law.  I would be very interested in hearing of any studies or programs addressing this issue among family law attorneys in particular.

In re Lampson, 2006 Kan. LEXIS 707 (December 8, 2006)
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