October 4, 2011
In The Range
In Georgia, an attorney facing bar discipline can petition for voluntary discipline with a proposed range of sanctions. The State Bar can argue against the proposed sanction. The Supreme Court can either impose discipline within the proposed range or reject the peition.
An attorney who had sanctions imposed in a civil matter filed a petition accepting discipline from a Review Panel reprimand to a six-month suspension. the State Bar did not oppose. The court accepted the petition and ordered a suspension at the top of the high range.
The attorney had represented plaintiffs in a civil case that had been proceeding pro so. There were pending motions to compel and for sanctions. The attorney tried but failed get secure compliance with discovery demands. Sanctions were entered against him and he failed to fully cooperate with post-judgment proceedings. He also "provided untruthful answers to some questions" in the deposition on his assets. He was eventually found in willful contempt and sent to jail until he complied with discovery.
He paid the judgment against him and cooperated in the bar proceedings.
An efficient procedure to resolve a disciplinary case. (Mike Frisch)
October 3, 2011
From the October 2011 online California Bar Journal:
[An attorney]was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a six-month actual suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect March 31, 2011.
[The attorney] stipulated to misconduct in four matters. He was twice convicted of misdemeanor driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content of more than .08 percent. He also was convicted of one count of driving without a valid driver’s license. He was separately convicted of misdemeanor battery after he refused to move his car from a post office drop-off box and punched another driver who asked him to move.
After he was suspended for a year by a federal district court, he did not notify an immigration court and submitted documents in 17 cases that indicated he was not subject to any court suspensions. His actions amounted to moral turpitude.
In mitigation, [he] cooperated with the bar’s investigation, says he’s been sober since the incidents occurred and had severe family problems at the time.
Suspension Starts When Imprisonment Ends
The Tennessee Supreme Court Court has ordered an attorney's license suspended for five years "beginning immediately upon [his] release from prison." The attorney was convicted of false imprisonment, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon, prescrition frug fraud, forgery and identity theft.
The attorney accepted the sanction. The Board of Professional Responsibility will institute a proceeding to determine final discipline. (Mike Frisch)
Identity Theft Leads To Lengthy Suspension
The Georgia Supreme Court imposed a three-year consent suspension nunc pro tunc to August 2009 in a case where the attorney's firm was retained in several plaintiff cases that were settled without her knowledge or participation.
The attorney had stayed home with her child and subsequently opened a solo practice. She hired Mr. Ly to serve as office manager and interpreter. She trusted him; she should not have. When she closed the practice and moved to Florida, she trusted Ly to close her bank accounts and forward her mail. As a result, she did not timely respond to the bar investigation.
It appears that "Ly or someone else assumed her identity and purported to act under her authority. [The attorney] states that her subsequent attempts to prevent someone from operating her former firm led her to fear for her safety and the safety of her family." She admitted that she had not properly closed down her practice. (Mike Frisch)