Thursday, December 17, 2009
The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board has vacated a hearing panel order of reprimand and ordered that ethics charges be dismissed. The complaint had alleged that the attorney had committed acts or omissions in the representation of four clients over a 19 year period. The hearing panel had found that most of the charges were not proven but did find a violation of Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4(a). The conduct at issue had taken place in 1984 and 1985.
The board concluded that the finding could not be sustained for the "simple and inescapable reason that [the rule] and, indeed, the entire Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, were not adopted by the Supreme Court until October 1, 1988." While the conduct may have violated former Canon 7, the attorney had not been charged under the Canons. (Mike Frisch)