Friday, June 20, 2008

No Summary Reciprocal Discipline For Agency Action

An attorney who had been reciprocally suspended by a panel of the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct sought and obtained mandamus relief by order of the Arkansas Supreme Court. The sanction was imposed "based on information provided... by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that [the attorney's] accreditation to represent claimants before those agencies had been cancelled by the VA and suspended for five years by the SSA." The court held that it was obligated to afford the attorney due process and an adequate remedy to challenge the suspension order. In a footnote, the court expained that the agencies in question do not regulate the practice of law and that their actions "did not amount to suspension from the practice of law..." The court ordered the attorney reinstated. (Mike Frisch)

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