Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reinstatement Possible, But Not Really

In a case involving misappropriation of client funds, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered suspension rather than disbarment. The attorney had made full restitution of the funds. One notable aspect of the court's decision is that if reinstatement is sought, the lawyer must be reinstated to "permanent retired" status. Never seen that before. (Mike Frisch)

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Can a court really tie the hands of a future court?

There are two purposes here. One is punishment, the other protection of the public. I can see permanence as a punishment, but once the punishment is over, surely the lawyer should be free to petition to practice once again? Anything else is prejudging the issue of whether the lawyer is competent to practice and an attempt to tie the hands of future courts.


Posted by: FixedWing | Oct 30, 2008 12:57:40 PM

I tend to agree with the comment. Even permanent disbarment is subject to a future court-ordered reconsideration. Here, it is possible that the "reinstated on retirement" position was agreed to by the attorney in order to avoid the stigma of disbarment.

Posted by: Mike Frisch | Oct 30, 2008 3:12:24 PM

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