Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Former Washington Bar President Suspended In Idaho

A former President of the Washington State Bar has been suspended for five years with two years withheld by the Idaho Supreme Court for misconduct in connection with expenses charged to two law firms and to the Washington State Bar Association.

The Journal of Business reported on the charges

The Idaho State Bar has charged former Washington State Bar Association President Robin L. Haynes with professional misconduct in relation to five counts of theft brought by Spokane County prosecutors last year. 

Last February, in the face of those criminal charges, Haynes agreed to forego practicing law in the state of Washington for five years and entered a felony diversion program.

Following its own investigation, the Idaho State Bar calls for Haynes to be suspended, yet didn’t disclose a length of time. It also calls for Haynes to pay the costs and expenses incurred in investigating and prosecuting her case, and “for other such relief as if deemed necessary and proper.”

Joseph N. Pirtle, an attorney with the Idaho State Bar, says that the organization allows for reciprocal discipline for conduct in another state where an attorney has been charged. 

Summons were addressed to Haynes at her Post Falls, Idaho law practice GIANTlegal PLLC on May 4. Pirtle says Haynes’ lawyer informally accepted the complaint on her behalf. 

Haynes has 21 days to respond to the summons, at which point proceedings will go on like a typical criminal case.

In June 2012, Haynes was elected to the Board of Governors for the Washington State Bar Association. She then served as the youngest WSBA president from October 2016 to about June 2017. 

The charges stem from allegations levied during Haynes’ tenure as an associate attorney with the Spokane-based law firm McNeice Wheeler PLLC, from December 2015 through January 2017, and her time with Spokane-based Witherspoon Kelley PLLC, from October 2013 to December 2015. 

In response to these acts, the ISB states that the conduct by Haynes “reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.” 

The ABA Journal also reported on the matter. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink


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