October 31, 2007
The petition for reinstatement of a lawyer who had resigned in 1993 was denied by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The lawyer had used funds from a conservatorship for his personal debts. The major impediment to reinstatement was his failure to make full restitution. The Client Security Fund has determined that the claims exceeded $133,000; he had repaid around $85,000. The court was "concerned...with [his] position that no further restitution is necessary." Further, because the ward was suffering from dementia, "[h]e...implied [she] was not harmed because she was unable to comprehend his breach of trust." The court soundly rejected this proposition:"...regardless of whether she knew her immediate needs were being met, [she] was harmed by [the attorney] because her trust in him was abused." (Mike Frisch)
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Client dementia is a horrible, unprofessional rationale for reinstatement following suspension for having stolen from the client. Sounds a lot like "it's not wrong if no one knows about it."
Posted by: W.R. Chambers | Oct 31, 2007 11:21:58 AM