April 16, 2010
It Is A Big Deal
The Kansas Supreme Court imposed a one-year suspension of anattorney who had allowed the statute of limitations to run on two accident claims. The attorney then advised the client that it was "no big deal" because that was why he had malpractice insurance. The attorney advised the client to seek new counsel, but she did not, and the statute of limitations on the malpractice case also has run.
The court found that the facts adequately alleged a concurrent conflict of interest in advising the client after the statute had run. The court found no Ruffalo violation with respect to the bar charges. The court also was not impressed with the pro se arguments of the attorney:
During oral argument before this court, respondent persisted in minimizing the seriousness of his conduct and attempted to shift responsibility for his actions to [the client]. Absent from respondent's demeanor at oral argument was an appreciation of the serious nature of the misconduct and the impact his actions had on his client.
The attorney is required to establish fitness for reinstatement. (Mike Frisch)
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