September 17, 2009
Quid Pro Quo
The Minnesota Supreme Court imposed a six-month suspension without pay of an elected district court judge. The judge was represented by an attorney in connection with his divorce. He had incurred and owed the lawyer's firm almost $100,000. Over a 3 1/2 year period, he appointed the lawyer's firm to perform court-compensated mediation services. When the judge was negotiating a fee reduction, the communications between the two suggested a linkage between the fee negotiation and the appointments. The suggestion of an improper fee arrangement came from the judge's ex-wife.
The court also censured the judge as an attorney. (Mike Frisch)
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