Thursday, August 15, 2013

Michigan Treats Willful Misstatements As Serious Misconduct

The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board increased a tri-county hearing panel's suspension from 60 to 180 days.

The attorney admitted a history of addictive behavior that led to a misdemeanor drunk driving conviction. Although he is a "regular and successful partipant in several recovery programs," he did not report the conviction.

His explanation: he forgot to do so.

The board commended his present candor but noted that he knowingly and intentionally failed to disclose these matters as required by his annual registration statement.

As to sanction:

The thrust of the Grievance Administrator's argument is that under longstanding precedent of this Board, respondent's willful misstatements should properly result in a suspension of at least 180 days in order to trigger the reinstatement requirements of [Michigan bar rules], if not a suspension of at least one year. This argument is persuasive.

The order of suspension also requies that the attorney cooperate with the bar's Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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