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May 1, 2017
Disciplinary Procedure Committee considers ‘disruptive lawyers’

Panel also looks at the need for more inventory attorneys

Dealing with disruptive lawyers and addressing the continuing shortage of inventory attorneys are topics under discussion by the Disciplinary Procedure Committee.

DPC Chair Dennis Kainen told the Board of Governors recently that although all lawyers are supposed to designate an inventory attorney who can wind down their practices if they die or become incapacitated, thousands of Bar members have not done that. The Bar has a hard time finding attorneys who can manage the closeout of those practices, he said, and the committee is looking at solutions.

The committee also continues to look at a diversion program for lawyers who are disruptive in the courtroom and other legal settings, Kainen said.

He presented and the board approved two Bar rule amendments on final reading.

One requires lawyers reapplying for reinstatement after long suspensions and who are required to retake the bar exam as part of that process to take and pass the exam before applying to the Bar for reinstatement. The second gives Bar counsel discretion in seeking automatic suspensions for lawyers facing felony charges. Kainen noted in some instances felonies can be malum prohibitum crimes for relatively minor offenses, such as picking up an arrowhead in a state park, and an automatic suspension in such cases can be harsh.

[Revised: 04-18-2018]