March 24, 2011
Profanity, Threats In Court Leads To Proposed Suspension
The Arizona Disciplinary Commission has recommended a six-month suspension and two years of probation of an attorney who had been censured in 2005 and 2007 for, among other things, engaging in profanity and name-calling to express his disagreement with a judge's ruling. Here, in 2009
Respondent again disagreed with a judge's ruling. He again became abusive in open court, yelled, disregarded the judge's instructions, used profanity, and then moved aggressively towards the prosecutor in a threatening manner. Law enforcement officers in the courtroom intervened and physically prevented Respondent from reaching the prosecutor. When he was forcibly removed from the courtroom, Respondent continued his tirade and stated he was not "quite through with the court."
The conditions of the proposed probation would require the attorney to continue therapy and take his prescribed medication.
The hearing officer had proposed a 30 day suspension with probation. The commission raised the sanction based on its de novo review. The State Bar had not objected to the shorter suspension. (Mike Frisch)
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