Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Misconduct Findings Vacated

An attorney who was reprimanded for ethical violations in a divorce case appealed to the Utah Supreme Court. Although the court concluded that the review sought was a petition for extraordinary relief rather than an appeal, the court held that the attorney had been denied the right to cross-examine the complainant at a hearing on his exceptions after an initial hearing had resulted in findings of misconduct. The plain language of the Utah rules allow for cross-examination of an adverse witness called at the exceptions hearing. The court further found that the panel chair had properly ruled that a favorable witness, who could have been called at the initial (or screening) hearing, could not testify at the exceptions hearing. The findings of misconduct were vacated and the matter was remanded for a new exceptions hearing. (Mike Frisch)


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