June 2, 2010
Upping The Ante
An attorney was admonished by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board for making a false statement to a tribunal in a small claims matter. Unfortunately for the attorney, he was also admitted in the District of Columbia and Delaware. The District imposed reciprocal discipline, but raised the sanction to a 30 day suspension.
The Delaware Supreme Court also just imposed reciprocal discipline, but rejected the 30-day suspension proposed by its Board (the attached Board report expresses the view that any greater sanction would amount to a penalty exacted for admission in Delaware). The court suspended the attorney for six months.
The District did not conduct any original proceeding but raised the sanction based on the Virginia record. Delaware conducted a hearing limited to the issue of sanction. Both jurisdictions imposed substantially different reciprocal discipline than that imposed in Virginia, where a full hearing had been held. (Mike Frisch)
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If this matter were brought today in the District of Columbia then the Court of Appeals would be precluded by its own rules from imposing any suspension whatsoever or even considering the matter. Yet here we have Delaware believing that a six-month suspension is needed. This seems to suggest that the latest rule change works an abdication of responsibility by the Court of Appeals of its responsibility to regulate the legal profession.
Posted by: FixedWing | Jun 2, 2010 5:36:13 PM