Saturday, February 17, 2007
What does a guy have to do to be disbarred around here? The Kansas Supreme Court indefinitely suspensed a lawyer who it had previously disciplined three times. The attorney also was admitted in Missouri, which had disciplined him eight times and ultimately also had imposed an indefinite suspension. The Kansas court found multiple ethical violations including misapppropriation, dishonesty, commingling and incompetence. The lawyer's trust account records were incomplete (he told Kansas that Missouri had some of them, which turned out not to be the case) and there were overdrafts. He paid his secretary out of the escrow account. The court considered the ABA standards for imposing lawyer discipline and found several aggravating factors.
This result does not greatly concern me if indefinite suspension is tantamount to disbarment. I understand that there is a stigma attached to the disbarment label that courts may wish to avoid. I am concerned if a record of ethical violations such as these would allow for reinstatement in the foreseeable future. (Mike Frisch)