Tuesday, August 5, 2014
The Wyoming Supreme Court imposed a suspension of three years for an attorney's misconduct in seven matters.
The court rejected both the disbarment recommendation of disciplinary counsel and the attorney's call for a lesser sanction
This Court does not agree with Ms. Richard’s characterization of her conduct as negligent. In case after case, she has demonstrated an intentional, willful refusal to respond appropriately to discovery requests, comply with court orders and follow the rules of procedure. She has also repeatedly demonstrated a total lack of concern for honest communication with opposing counsel and the courts. Looking at each case individually, without considering the other six cases, Ms. Richard’s conduct might be seen as an isolated event, resembling behavior members of the bar have seen from some other lawyer in some other case. Taken together, however, Ms. Richard’s conduct in the seven cases clearly shows not an isolated event but a consistent pattern of misbehavior affecting many, many people. Eight judges sitting in seven districts and lawyers in five different law firms have struggled with Ms. Richard’s obstructionist tactics. The clients of those five law firms as well as Ms. Richard’s clients have incurred unnecessary expense and been subjected to needlessly prolonged litigation because of her misconduct. The video-tape deposition in Miller clearly shows the witness in that case was also a victim of Ms. Richard’s unacceptable behavior.
The court found the misconduct caused the attorney to come "perilously close" to disbarment. (Mike Frisch)