May 21, 2008
Present Competence To Practice
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of an attorney who had been suspended for competence and unauthorized practice problems. The court expressed some concern whether the petitioner had made a sufficient showing of present competence and ability to practice law. After reciting the efforts made to establish proof by clear and convincing evidence, the court concluded:
None of this evidence was contradicted or impeached. Clearly and convincingly, it justifies the conclusion that Petitioner has improved to the degree of competency required since her 1984 admission to practice in Oklahoma and particularly since her 1997 and 1999 Texas sufferings from inadequate supervision and training. The parties contend correctly that prior discipline does not preclude reinstatement, citing Matter of Reinstatement of Johnston, 2007 OK 46, 162 P.3d 922; they then submit that Petitioner "should not be disciplined twice for the previous acts by receiving a public reprimand and now by having her application for reinstatement denied based upon these same previous acts." Joint Brief, p. 9. Strictly speaking, a denial of reinstatement is not further discipline; however, under the circumstances and the record of this case, we think they have a point.
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