Friday, November 21, 2008

Should attorney be disciplined for conduct that results in traffic accident, DUIs, etc?

A hearing officer in Arizona has recommended dismissal of bar charges against an attorney who drove after consuming alcohol and prescription drugs. He began to feel ill, hit a wall and got a flat tire. He continued on, struck a motorcyclist but continued driving. He was later arrested and pled no contest to endangerment, extreme DUI and leaving the scene of an injury accident. The hearing officer concluded that the evidence failed to establish that the attorney "possessed a conscious awareness that he posed a danger to others or that he had been in an injury causing accident...The civil and criminal systems are adequate to address [his] conduct and the evidence here does not implicate [his] duties as a lawyer or fitness to practice law." Other jurisdictions would reach a very different result. See the opinion here.

--posted by Mike Frisch on Legal Profession Blog

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