October 18, 2010
E-Mail From Court Blocked, Attorney Sanctioned
An attorney who was suspended for nine months by the Superior Court of North Carolina received the same sanction as reciprocal discipline from the Louisiana Supreme Court. The attorney was a party plaintiff in a suit assigned to business court in Wake County, North Carolina.
The attorney signed a case management report by which she agreed to use the court's electronic filing system and to communicate by e-mail. Then, "[a]pproximately one year later, respondent intentionally blocked all e-mails from the court's site, preventing her from receiving court orders and communications."
As a result of the ensuing failures to deal with court obligations, the attorney was ordered to show cause why she should not be held in contempt. She failed to appear at the show cause hearing.
The Louisiana court found no basis to impose a sanction different from that imposed in North Carolina. (Mike Frisch)
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I love how "either willful or the result of an intentional act that constituted gross negligence on her part" becomes "intentionally" on reciprocal discipline. While it might not be necessary to reconsider the findings of the state of original discipline, it would be nice if the reciprocal discipline state would at least try to stick to the findings as found.
In truth, it appears that she simply failed to receive the emails. Probably they went into the SPAM folder.
Surely once a court realises that its messages are not getting through it has some sort of duty to try an alternative method of service? Most courts would take a dim view of a party continuing to use a method of service that it knew wouldn't work where there was an alternative which would provide notice.
Posted by: FixedWing | Oct 18, 2010 2:17:19 PM