May 29, 2012
"A Very Special Circumstance"
In a series of disciplinary matters involving an attorney who "was struggling with substance abuse," the Georgia Supreme Court was sharply critical of the "piecemeal adjudication of [the two] disciplinary matters [that] not only wastes this Court's resources at a time when those resources are already significantly strained, but also may result in the imposition of disciplinary penalties that ill fit the totality of an attorney's misconduct, and should be avoided in the future."
The court noted that the special master found that the attorney "is in a prolonged recovery from the illness of alcohol and substance abuse which led to his wrongful conduct" and accepted the recommendation for a public reprimand with terms.
The court noted that the attorney's recovery and restitution to harmed clients was a "very special circumstance" and ordered that the attorney participate the the State Bar's lawyer assistance program.
The court had previously rejected a petition for voluntary discipline. (Mike Frisch)
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