Monday, June 29, 2009

Substantial Threat

The North Dakota Supreme Court imposed a suspension pending the disposition of disciplinary proceedings in a case where the lawyer has been charged with, but not convicted of, criminal charges. The court describes the charges:

The Application [for suspension] states that a criminal complaint has been filed in District Court, County of Ward, Northwest Judicial District charging [the attorney] with Criminal Conspiracy - Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Cocaine) in violation of ยงยง 12.1-06-04 and 19-03.1-23. The offense is a Class C felony. The Application also states that he has been charged with two separate offenses of DUI in a matter of three days. The substance of the criminal complaint for Criminal Conspiracy is that [the attorney] encouraged and solicited a client, whom he was representing in a trial on charges of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, to secure cocaine for him.

The suspension was imposed pursuant to a provision that empowers the court to act in matters of substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public. (Mike Frisch)

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How does his continuation in the practice of law pose a danger to the public pending the disposition of his disciplinary matter? This decision is an example of the excesses brought about by the "war on drugs".

Posted by: Dennis Tuchler | Jun 29, 2009 2:39:58 PM

I was a bit surprised to see a "great public harm" suspension for criminal charges as opposed to a conviction. In D.C., such suspensions are imposed after there have been either findings of serious misconduct or ongoing thefts from entrusted funds.

Posted by: Mike Frisch | Jun 29, 2009 4:24:37 PM

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