Thursday, March 8, 2012
The sanction imposed in a bar discipline case can be as much the result of the attorney's attitude to the disciplinary process as the nature of the underlying misconduct.
This observation is supported by a decision of the Oklahoma Supreme Court:
In the case at hand, the Respondent has not been previously disciplined. The trial panel report and the Complainant's brief-in-chief were sent to the Respondent, yet he has repeatedly failed to respond. His actions show a blatant disregard for the disciplinary process and for the Court. At his deposition, Respondent also assured the General Counsel's office that he would hand over Mr. Locklear's documents to them, yet he failed to do so. When asked the last time he had spoken with his client, the Respondent replied, "probably about 18 months." He was then asked if he could give a reason for his lack of communication, to which he simply answered, "no." Assistant General Counsel Rossier continued, "Did you do any work in the case at all to earn your fee?" To which the Respondent replied, "I have not." Respondent's blatant disregard for his client and the Court warrant suspension of two years and one day.