Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Montana Supreme Court granted a request by an attorney to be transferred to disability inactive status over the objection of the Commision on Practice that there was no disability. The court concluded that the pertinent rule required that any request for disability status be granted whether or not there is a real disabling condition. The rule contains three methods to achieve disability status that are stated in the disjunctive. Under the first method, the mere assertion of the claim requires that the court enter a disability order. Of course, the status does not end disciplinary matters, which are stayed until the disability is removed.
I would not be shocked if the court now amends its rule to require a showing of disability before a lawyer can halt ongoing proceedings based on an unsupported claim. (Mike Frisch)