Thursday, August 21, 2008
The Arizona Disciplinary Commission affirmed a hearing officer's findings of misconduct but rejected the proposed suspension of six months and a day in a case involving multiple ethics violations. The hearing officer found that the lawyer had knowingly withheld evidence in litigation, submitted a claim for fees that contained "outright fabrications," submitted pleadings that "called into question [his competence] as a result of the confusing and unprofessional writing in his pleadings," and committed other misconduct in three matters. The hearing officer rejected the suggestion that "various physical and mental disabilities make all of his violations negligent." The most serious misconduct--"done out of greed" and an "intentional misinterpretation of the Rules"-- was not explained by his conditions.
The commission concluded that a one year suspension was more appropriate for misconduct that included lying to a tribunal. (Mike Frisch)