Friday, September 4, 2020

One DUI, Two Sanctions

An attorney who had consented to a year and a day suspension in Louisiana for a DUI received a lesser sanction as reciprocal discipline by the Mississippi Supreme Court

From the record before us, it appears that this was Easterly’s first and only incident of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). In Mississippi, “generally a first-offense misdemeanor DUI would not warrant an initial one year and one day suspension absent other aggravating circumstances.” Miss. Bar v. Mount, 298 So. 3d 409, 409 n.5 (Miss. 2019). We find no aggravating circumstances here that warrant such a lengthy suspension. This Court finds that a more appropriate sanction at this juncture is a suspension from the practice of law for a period of ninety days.

The sanction was imposed retroactively to the date of the Louisiana suspension

There is no evidence suggesting that Easterly has a history or a pattern of misconduct; her suspension in Louisiana concerned but one instance of DUI. Easterly’s suspension stemmed from misconduct in her personal life, not from misconduct in her professional life as a practicing attorney.Therefore, the nexus between Easterly’s misconduct and the practice of law was “a significantly attenuated relationship.”

The attorney is on disability inactive status. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink


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