Thursday, July 17, 2014
This is the time of year when the small universe of people who follow District of Columbia bar discipline matters hold our breath to see if some of the not-so-golden oldies actually get decided and move forward.
The Board on Professional Responsibility likes to push out as many decisions as possible before resuming its work in September with newly-appointed members. This should be particulary true this summer because the term of the present board chair will come to an end.
The very worst offender in the overdue hearing committee reports is In re Rohde, a case in that involves a felony hit and run conviction.
On March 16, 2006 (more than eight years ago), the Court of Appeals referred the conviction to the board for a moral turpitude determination.
The board in turn sent the matter to a hearing committee for a recommendation. The committee held hearings in late December 2007 and early January 2008, more than six years ago.
And then... silence.
Notably, the court had departed from its usual practice and declined to impose an interim suspension of the attorney. Thus, this inexcusable delay has allowed the attorney to practice in good standing as a convicted felon for over eight years (assuming he paid his annual membership dues).
I'll let you know if a decision in the case is ever issued. (Mike Frisch)