November 12, 2007
More On Reciprocal Discipline
The Mississippi Supreme Court issued an opinion in line with the vast majority of jurisdictions in imposing virtually identical reciprocal discipline on an attorney who had been publicly censured in Tennessee. While the court "look[s] with extreme disfavor on a lawyer's conversion or commingling of client's funds...we conclude from the record before us that there is no reason to stray from the discipline imposed by the Supreme Court of Tennessee." There rarely is any legitimate reason to second-guess the jurisdiction that actually conducts the proceeding. I'd have a lot fewer gray hairs if D.C. had seen it that way when I was with Bar Counsel. (Mike Frisch)
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Why is D.C. different?
Posted by: W.R. Chambers | Nov 12, 2007 12:30:44 PM
It's a good question and I'm not sure exactly what the answer is. I deal with the strain of cases where serious misconduct was minimized in reciprocal matters in my "No Stone Left Unturned" article. I think the answer is twofold. First, there is a sympathy for lawyers and antipathy for Bar Counsel on the part of the Board that has poisoned the D.C. system for about 20 years now. Second, there is a deeply seeded desire to treat everything de novo, based on the assumption that the Board is smarter and wiser than anyone else. Also, the Board assigns cases to individuals to write a report and pretty much rubber-stamps that person's decision. This can lead to quirky results.
Posted by: Mike Frisch | Nov 12, 2007 2:22:17 PM
On second guessing, see the disturbing reluctance of the Illinois ARDC to defer to a federal court sanction finding in In re Cook, 49 F.3d 263 (7th Cir. 1995).
Posted by: jp | Nov 13, 2007 10:05:04 AM
The Cook decision is fascinating--thanks for the information.
Posted by: Mike Frisch | Nov 13, 2007 11:30:10 AM