Thursday, January 31, 2008
I have previously noted my dismay at the inordinate amount of time bar discipline cases take in the District of Columbia, particularly in matters involving reciprocal discipline and/or criminal convictions. After all, once final discipline or a criminal sentence is imposed, it should not be too difficult to figure out the right result. Well, in a case decided today, the court dealt with an attorney who had pleaded guilty to felony insider trading in 2001. Final discipline was imposed in Virginia in 2002 and in California in 2005. After the criminal judgment was filed in D.C. in May 2002, it took almost six years to disbar the attorney based on the Virginia order and dismiss the criminal and California bar cases as moot.
The court is not to blame here--it entered the order two weeks after the case was submitted. The court is, of course, ultimately responsible for the system it created. (Mike Frisch)