Friday, December 14, 2007
The Kansas Supreme Court indefinitely suspended an attorney as a result of his third conviction of driving under the influence. The investigation further revealed that he "had failed to disclose a number of his arrests and convictions when he applied for admission to the Kansas bar" in 1986. This conduct violated Kansas Rule 8.1(a). Finally, he submitted a character reference letter in the disciplinary matter without providing to the witness "the facts necessary to fully appreciate [his] current fitness." The court treated the letter as "deceptive" and as the submission of false evidence. The court states:
"Respondent has an established record of deception as to his misconduct. Should respondent ever seek reinstatement to the practice of law in Kansas and the petition is referred by the court to the Disciplinary Administrator, that office is directed to check out thoroughly every aspect of respondent's petition and investigate respondent's activities in the years that will have elapsed since his suspension and make a detailed report and hold a full hearing thereon for consideration by a hearing panel and/or this court."
This case is a reminder that a false or misleading statement in the bar admission process (here made over twenty years ago) is a ticking time bomb that can result in disciplinary consequences whenever it comes to light. (Mike Frisch)