March 8, 2012
Signs Of Disrespect
The web page of the Utah Bar Journal has this report of a disciplinary sanction:
On September 21, 2011, the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court entered an Order of Discipline: Public Reprimand against [an attorney] for violation of Rules 1.1 (Competence), 3.5(d) (Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal), 8.4(d) (Misconduct), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In papers to the court, [the attorney] made continued miscitation of statutes which was more than a mere “typo.” The miscitation was noted by the District Court and not corrected on appeal. [He] intentionally omitted the title of “judge” in referring to Justice Court Judges as a sign of disrespect and in protest intended to disrupt the court room and the administration of justice. In responding to the OPC’s inquiries, [he] utilized the lowercase “j” in the word “judge,” continuing the showing of a lack of respect. [His] behavior throughout the process was disrespectful, unprofessional and intended to prejudice the administration of justice. [He] referred to judges as “revenue collectors in black dresses.” [He] submitted a declaration of his client that contained disparaging remarks. The remarks called opposing counsel a “lying piece of trash” and made other inappropriate and unprofessional comments. [He] also used derogatory language to describe the investigation at the OPC. [He] repeatedly cited the OPC’s investigation as “asinine” and “absolute nonsense.” [He] violated the Rules of Professional Conduct knowingly and intentionally. The level of injury is significant in that the profession as a whole (and the public) is affected by this negative behavior and it contributes to an unprofessional view of lawyers.
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