Monday, June 1, 2009
Also from the California Bar Journal:
[An attorney] was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual two-year suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE, comply with rule 9.20 and prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Dec. 21, 2008.
[The attorney] sought review of a State Bar Court hearing judge’s recommendation that he be disbarred following misdemeanor convictions for trespassing and fleeing from a park ranger. The review court found that neither conviction involved moral turpitude and reduced the disbarment recommendation to a suspension. However, Judge JoAnn Remke wrote, “It is clear that [he] has problems dealing with authority and managing his anger.”
Both incidents started with what Remke described as “fairly innocuous but improper behavior,” but when challenged, [he] reacted with “irrational and unlawful responses.”
In the first case, [he] was jogging on private property in 1997 when the property owner asked him to leave. He ignored the request but eventually stopped and kicked the property owner’s truck before running away. Another individual saw him jogging on the property a few months later and also asked him to leave; again he responded by kicking the woman’s car.
[He] pleaded guilty to trespassing and two vandalism charges were dismissed.
In 2004, [he] was running in an open space preserve with his running club when a ranger spotted him putting a leash on a dog who had been off-leash. When the ranger asked him to stop, he ran away. An hour-long search for [him] by three rangers was unsuccessful, but they were able to learn his identity and he was charged with resisting an officer and fighting in a public place. He pleaded no contest to the latter charge.
In a third, uncharged incident, [he] attended a function where the planners had asked that he be kept out. He gave a phony identity to a park ranger and eventually was escorted from the function by police.
The court considered a second disciplinary recommendation, which is pending, as a prior discipline record. In that matter, the review department found that [the attorney], who is also a physician, made false and misleading statements and omissions on various applications for hospital staff privileges and continued to use the M.D. designation even after criminal charges were brought against him. The review department has recommended a six-month suspension.
“When viewed in its entirety, the record clearly confirms that respondent fails to recognize the wrongfulness of his actions,” Remke wrote. His “holistic problems with authority raise a serious concern regarding his fitness to practice.”
The court gave some mitigation to [his] volunteer work at Stanford University, the park service and other community service, but said his testimony about treatment for mental health problems was not supported by expert testimony.
There must be, as Paul Harvey used to say, a "rest of the story" here. I can only wonder how probation will work out. (Mike Frisch)