Monday, August 6, 2007
The D. C. Court of Appeals disbarred an attorney last week. The case involved acts of dishonesty including forgery and would be unremarkable but for the amount of time it took to resolve the matter. The firm that had reported the misconduct did so in 1997. Disciplinary charges--which were essentially uncontested--were filed in February 1999. It took 8 1/2 years for the D.C. bar disciplinary system to work its magic-- and the lawyer was free to practice throughout that time. Most of the time was taken by the hearing committee (3 1/2 years) and the court (over three years from argument to disposition).