Friday, March 23, 2018
Practice Pointer: Do Not Appear At Bar Hearing While Intoxicated
The Kansas Supreme Court has disbarred an attorney who offered to surrender his license after oral argument.
He was intoxicated at his discipline hearing on four complaints.
On February 8, 2018, at 9:45 a.m. a hearing panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys convened a hearing on the formal complaint. During the hearing, the hearing panel became concerned that the respondent was under the influence of alcohol. The hearing panel recessed the hearing, made arrangements for alcohol testing, and requested the respondent submit to testing to determine the presence of the alcohol. The respondent agreed to submit to the testing. A representative from the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program along with a representative from the Disciplinary Administrator's office transported the respondent to a facility for the alcohol testing. The respondent's breath alcohol concentration at 11:17 a.m. was .185. To validate its accuracy, a second test was administered at 11:33 a.m. indicating a breath alcohol concentration level of .200. Also on February 8, 2018, the Disciplinary Administrator filed a motion for temporary suspension requesting that the court issue an order to the respondent to show cause why his license should not be temporarily suspended. On February 13, 2018, the court issued an order to show cause and scheduled the matter for argument on March 6, 2018. On March 6, 2018, Kimberly L. Knoll, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator, and the respondent appeared before the court and argued the motion for temporary suspension. For good cause shown, on March 7, 2018, the court granted the motion and ordered the temporary suspension of the respondent's license to practice law.
This court finds that the surrender of the respondent's license should be accepted and that the respondent should be disbarred.
Our coverage of the oral argument on the Administrator's motion for temporary suspension is linked here.
Oral argument video linked here. (Mike Frisch)