Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Off The Wagon With A Thud

An attorney who last year was censured and had a lengthy suspension deferred "under conditions intended to assist [him] in maintaining his sobriety" was disbarred by the Oklahoma Supreme Court as a result of two alcohol-related instances of misconduct.

According to the court, the lenient treatment in the earlier case was imposed because witnesses felt that the attorney "had conquered his demons" but that he "fell off the wagon with a thud."

The first incident occured while the censure case was pending:

 Belinda and James Roe live with their children in a home located in Logan County. At approximately 6:00 p.m. on May 19, 2012, they began hearing machine gun fire coming from an adjacent residence. When the shooting had been going on for one to two hours, the Roes called the property owner. They were advised that it was the renter and his attorney who were doing the shooting. At 10:00 p.m., the Roes decided to go next door and ask that the shooting cease as the couple and their children were getting ready to retire for the night.

One of the two intoxicated shooters was the attorney. He identified himself as an "agent" and the sheriff's office responded. He cursed and threatened to sue the responding deputy sheriff.

The second incident took place after the court's decision:

James J. Pasquali (Pasquali) is an attorney practicing primarily in Oklahoma County. On October 7, 2012, he decided to stop by a bar and off-track betting establishment, Thunder Roadhouse (Roadhouse). When he entered the Roadhouse, Pasquali recognized several people, one of which was [the attorney] Moon, who appeared to have been drinking. After greeting Moon, Pasquali offered to buy him a drink at which point Moon asked for a vodka and Red Bull. Pasquali then walked away from Moon and Moon's companion, James Randall Dodd (Dodd).

Some time later, Dodd and Moon joined Pasquali. Dodd confronted Pasquali telling him that he had a "problem" with him and demanding the return of a fee of one-thousand dollars ($1,000.00) paid to Pasquali for the representation of Dodd's son. At this point, Moon entered the conversation in an extremely aggressive and threatening manner. He threatened to kill Pasquali and have his daughters raped and killed. Moon told Pasquali that if he went to the police, he would kill him. He grabbed Pasquali's collar and threatened to run a pen through his neck and his remains through a shredder.

The matter only began to diffuse when the bartender approached the group and asked if everything was all right. Pasquali was able then to leave the Roadhouse.

Pasquali, in shock at Moon's treatment and scared for himself and his family, called his law partner who advised him to contact the police. He did so along with the Oklahoma County District Attorney. When the police arrived, Moon and Dodd had left the premises. On October 29, 2012, Moon was charged in Oklahoma County with attempted extortion, threatening to perform an act of violence, and assault and battery.

 The court rejected claims of procedural and due process violations. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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