Monday, November 19, 2007

Dropping Out

As we have previously noted, a failure to fully participate in the bar disciplinary process can be, as a hearing panel in Illinois noted, "the strongest of profession ending options." The panel recommends disbarment for neglect of seven matters as well as failure to follow through with the process despite participation in the early stages:

"we consider Respondent’s failure to fully cooperate and participate in the disciplinary proceedings. Although Respondent did file an answer to the Complaint and participated in two pre-hearing conferences, he failed to participate in two other pre-hearing conferences, failed to file his Rule 253 witness list, failed to appear for his deposition, and did not appear at the hearing. The Supreme Court has stated that an attorney’s failure to cooperate in his or her own disciplinary proceeding demonstrates a want of professional responsibility and is a factor to be considered in aggravation for the purpose of determining an appropriate sanction. Hearing panels in other cases have warned that when an attorney fails to attend his hearing, he is taking the "strongest of profession ending options" and "should be viewed as refusing to concede to the inherent authority and power of the Illinois Supreme Court." (citations omitted) (Mike Frisch)

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