Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DA Suspended, Placed On Probation, For Practicing While Suspended

A disciplinary summary from the August 2010 online edition of the California Bar Journal:

[An attorney] was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on one year of probation with a 30-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Nov. 13, 2009.

[The attorney] was suspended in 2005 for not completing her MCLE requirements, and although she received notices from the State Bar, she did not check her mailbox. As a deputy district attorney for Imperial County, she made numerous court appearances while suspended.

In mitigation, as soon as she became aware of her status, she took corrective action and she advised her superiors of the situation. She cooperated with the bar’s investigation and she submitted character references establishing her good character.

This should serve as a reminder that its bar dues time. If you don't get the bill, its not because the bar decided to waive the payment. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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Actually, sometimes it does mean exactly that.

The District of Columbia is one of the few bars that I know of that does not collect bar dues from suspended lawyers. In that respect, getting suspended seems to be the only method I know of to remain a member of the bar and yet not pay dues. It certainly beats being an inactive member which is darned expensive today but just gets you a magazine subscription.

In my own case, when I didn't get an invoice I wrote to the bar and this was their response. The previous year they had not correctly noted my interim suspension (which they term a "disciplinary suspension" on the web site) so they had sent me an invoice which I paid. That money was ultimately refunded.

States like Connecticut and New York are more than happy to collect dues and fees from attorneys who are suspended and therefore precluded from enjoying any of the benefits of being admitted in their jurisdictions (such as earning the money necessary to pay their dues bills from lawyering rather than from drug dealing). That doesn't seem very fair to me.


Posted by: FixedWing | Aug 5, 2010 8:31:41 AM

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