Monday, August 29, 2011

The Broken Record

An attorney who became the subject of a bar investigation when he bounced a $1,000 escrow account check to himself was suspended for four years by the Alaska Supreme Court. Two other overdrafts were later reported to the bar.

The attorney was found to have failed to fully cooperate with the bar's investigation. One issue related to a CD that the attorney submitted that arrived in the mail broken in half. The court found no issue with the findings of non-cooperation:

...we observe that none of the Hearing Committee’s conclusions rely upon disputed issues of fact. The language cited by [the attorney] for this claim simply reflects what the record clearly shows: the CD did, in fact, arrive in an unusable state, and although [he] expressed his willingness to provide the information, he had not provided it by the time the Hearing Committee issued its order granting summary judgment in July 2009. The Hearing Committee did not find that [he] broke the CD. Its determination that [he] violated Bar Rule 15(a)(4) was based on [his] continuing failure to provide the subpoenaed information after he learrned from the...petition for formal hearing that the CD had arrived broken - regardless of what caused it to break. It was never fully resolved how the CD broke, but this issue was not material to the Hearing Committee's decision and did not preclude entry of summary judgment.

 The court relied on the attorney's failure to cooperate in distinguishing escrow account violation cases where lesser sanctions had been imposed. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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