August 22, 2008
A Serious Crime
An aspect of effective regulation of the legal profession are rules that impose interim suspension pending final disciplinary action when an attorney is convicted of a "serious crime" as that term is defined by the rules of the disciplining tribunal. The North Dakota Supreme Court ordered such a suspension today:
The Court is satisfied that the evidence presented demonstrates that Fisher plead guilty to and was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of theft. Fisher's convictions for theft constitute a serious crime for purposes of N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 4.1C and N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 4.1D.
It is noteworthy that a misdemeanor may be considered a serious crime. A felony conviction is, by definition and without reference to the elements of the offense, invariably treated as a serious crime for interim suspension purposes. Generally, such an interim order of suspension may be vacated on a showing of good cause. Courts also will vacate such orders if the conviction is overturned. (Mike Frisch)
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