Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Moment Of Pride

When the D.C. Court of Appeals recently amended its rules of disciplinary procedure, one of the best reforms was the removal of a role for the Board on Professional Responsibility in uncontested reciprocal discipline matters. In the past, all such cases were sent to the board whether or not the attorney had responded to the court's order to show cause why reciprocal discipline should not be imposed. Now, the court can impose discipline in such cases without a referral to the Board.

So far as I am aware, this order entered today is the first matter resolved under the new rule. The attorney was disbarred as reciprocal discipline based on a Maryland consent to disbarment. Without wasting the time and resources of Bar Counsel and the board, identical discipline was imposed nine weeks after the Maryland order. It used to take a year or more with briefs from bar counsel and a board order.

It does my heart good to see discipline imposed in an efficient and sensible manner. (Mike Frisch)

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Certainly, I agree. The problem though is that the new procedure doesn't just apply to uncontested matters. My prediction is that the procedure will be abused by the Court to avoid affording an accused attorney minimum due process. What the Court really wants is automatic reciprocal discipline and I am afraid that this new procedure will become exactly that.


Posted by: FixedWing | Oct 23, 2008 9:05:33 AM

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