July 20, 2011
Coke In Courthouse Suspension
The Minnesota Supreme Court has imposed a suspension of not less than 90 days on an attorney who possessed cocaine in a courthouse while in trial in a criminal case. The attorney was convicted of possession. The StarTribune reports that he was sentenced to two days in jail and community service.
The attorney advised his clients, arranged for new counsel and entered treatment after his January 2009 arrest. He relapsed in February 2010 bur self-reported the slip. He is now back in treatment and maintaining sobriety.
The attorney is subject to conditions on reinstatement that include compliance with his criminal probation. He also must take and pass the professional responsibility portion of the state bar examination.
The court accepted the joint sanction recommendation of the Office of Lawyer Regulation and the attorney.
Justice Alan Page dissented and would impose a greater penalty. He notes that the attorney was representing a client in extremely serious matters, including first degree murder, at the time.
The Winona Post has some details. (Mike Frisch)
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