Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Reinstatement Denied

Petitions for reinstatement by suspended or disbarred lawyers sometimes present a dilemma for disciplinary decisionmakers. The hope for rehabilitation and restoration must be balanced against the potential for future damage to clients, the courts and the legal profession. The Illinois Review Board recently recommended that reinstatement be denied to an attorney who had been admitted to practice in 1962 and had had a number of disciplinary sanctions imposed against him. The most recent disciplinary cases had imposed a fixed suspension with a UFO requirement (I assume that means "until further order of the court" rather than that the sanction be served in an extraterrestrial manner). The majority found reinstatement inappropriate because the lawyer failed to appreciate the wrongful nature of his conduct. A dissent notes the extensive and impressive character testimony and wonders what more the attorney could have presented to reinvest the courts with confidence in his integrity. (Mike Frisch)

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