Thursday, June 11, 2009
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals recently entered an order denying en banc consideration of a decision of a three judge division of the court disbarring a lawyer for intentional misappropriation. The division had applied the Addams decision, which mandates disbarment for intentional or reckless misappropriation of entrusted funds absent extraordinary circumstances. The court has only found an exception to the rule of Addams for recovering alcoholics whose active alcoholism caused the misconduct.
The notable aspect of the court's order is that the decision was 5-4. This suggests to interested observers (or at least to me) that the strict rule regarding sanctions for misappropriation is in danger in the District of Columbia. Time will tell. (Mike Frisch)