April 29, 2009
Attorney Reinstated, Misconduct Was Result Of Sexual Assault By Prospective Client
The Mississippi Supreme Court has granted the petition for reinstatement of an attorney who had been on disability inactive status as well as 180 day suspension. The attorney was "brutally sexually assaulted" by the prospective client during a Sunday afternoon office visit at her office. According to the court's opinion, the attorney "suffered from severe emotional trauma, as well as crippling anxiety, depression and grief..." as a result of the incident. She thereafter failed to respond to a series of three bar complaints that led to the 180 day suspension and, later, to the disability inactive status based on a finding of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The attorney had entered into a two-year monitoring contract with the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program, presented favorable medical testimony, received eight personal recommendations and had taken and passed the MPRE. The reinstatement case was filed under seal to preserve confidentiality of the process and to preserve the attorney's identity. The Bar had "strongly" recommended reinstatement. (Mike Frisch)
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