Friday, May 15, 2009
The North Dakota Supreme Court has disbarred an attorney for, among other things, a criminal conviction for terrorizing a Fargo police officer with a gun while intoxicated. The court did agree with the attorney that the evidence did not establish that the gun was cocked:
The hearing panel's finding to which Light continues to object--that the handgun he pointed at the Fargo police officer was cocked--is, however, not supported by clear and convincing evidence. As Disciplinary Counsel points out, Light admitted the allegations contained in the Petition for Discipline dated November 30, 2007, but those allegations do not include a description of the handgun. Although Light also admitted the allegations in the Petition for Discipline dated August 23, 2007, relating to the criminal charges, stating that he admits he pleaded guilty to a class C felony as described in the Petition, again, the description of the gun as being cocked was not part of those allegations. Neither is the handgun description part of the criminal judgment found in the record. We do not know whether the gun was described as being cocked in the criminal information by which Light was charged, because that document is not part of the record. Whether the handgun was cocked, however, is not significant for purposes of the finding that Light was convicted of a class C felony under N.D.C.C. § 12.1-17-04, which incurs the consequences set forth in N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 4.1.
An earlier article about the case from the Bismarck Tribune is linked here. (Mike Frisch)