We are billing our way out of representation of the middle class

Lawyers are billing more than the middle class can afford.  WSJ Report: 3.7 Million Use Legal Self-Help Centers – Law Blog .

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As the world turns, body builder prosecutor in Spokane trouble

Here is some interesting lawyer news — KXLY – Spokane.  And more at the Spokesman Review,  Spokane County prosecutor linked to felon by texts, video, bikini photo. Regarding the bikini picture mentioned in the SR article– that is what Ms. Wright must wear in body building competitions.  One should not make much if it.  After all, Faith Ireland (used to be Faith Enyeart, Ireland has more panache for elections) was a champion weight lifter when she was on the Washington Supreme Court.

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So you want to go to Federal Court ? — The Younger Abstention Doctrine

The federal court will abstain.  It’s called the Younger Abstention Doctrine. Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 91 S. Ct. 746, 27 L. Ed. 2d 669 (1971).

Younger was used in Canatella v. California, 404 F.3d 1106, 1109 – 1110 (9th Cir. 2005) by the federal court to dismiss a case where an attorney sought to have the court address certain First Amendment issues regarding the bar association’s interest in disciplining him:

The Middlesex Factors: “Absent `extraordinary circumstances’, abstention in favor of state judicial proceedings is required if the state proceedings (1) are ongoing, (2) implicate important state interests, and (3) provide the plaintiff an adequate opportunity to litigate federal claims.” Hirsh v. Justices of Supreme Court of Cal., 67 F.3d 708, 712 (9th Cir.1995) (per curiam) (citing Middlesex County Ethics Comm. v. Garden State Bar Ass’n, 457 U.S. 423, 432, 437, 102 S.Ct. 2515, 73 L.Ed.2d 116 (1982)).

Id.

A good discussion of these matters is to be found in Joshua G. Urquhart, Younger Abstention and Its Aftermath: An Empirical Perspective, 12 NEV. L.J. 1, 2 (2011-2012):

The Ninth Circuit ran through the Younger analysis and held: (1) the state bar case constituted an ongoing judicial proceeding; (2) regulating attorney misconduct was an important state interest; and (3) Bendel had adequate opportunity to assert his federal defenses in a competent and unbiased state forum. The court thus upheld the abstention decision and affirmed the denial of the intervention motion. 8 [Canatella v. California, 404 F.3d d. at 1117].

The Younger Abstention Doctrine might be in for some revision in light of Sprint Communications, Inc. v. Jacobs, 134 S. Ct. 584, 187 L. Ed. 2d 505 (2013). See, Supreme Court Narrowly Defines Younger Abstention Doctrine, ABA Litigation Section, February 14, 2014.

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Eugster Response to WSBA Governance Task Force Report

The response by Steve Eugster to the WSBA Governance Task Force Report is here: 2014_08_12a_letter_judicial_power_deunification.  The WSBA Board of Governors is expected to consider the Governance Task Force Report at its September 2014 meeting in Seattle.

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Seattle Attorney Disbarred: Convicted and Sentenced — 2 Years

The Seattle Times reports:

Edward Joseph Callow represented a client who was permanently disabled in a car wreck. Nationwide Insurance agreed to pay her a $25,000 advance, plus a $500,000 settlement. But Callow told her the settlement was for only $250,000, and that he would keep one-third of that for attorney’s fees. He also kept the advance.

The Supreme Court has disbarred Mr. Callow.  The WSBA reports:

Edward J. Callow (WSBA No. 41966, admitted 2009), of Seattle, was disbarred, effective 12/02/2013, by order of the Washington Supreme Court. The lawyer’s conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.4 (Communication), 1.15A (Safeguarding Property), 1.15B (Required Trust Account Records), 1.16 (Declining or Terminating Representation), 7.3 (Direct Contact with Prospective Clients), 8.4 (Misconduct). Marsha Matsumoto represented the Bar Association. Kenneth Scott Kagan represented Respondent. David Martin Schoeggl was the hearing officer. The online version of NWLawyer contains links to the following documents: Hearing Officer’s Decision; Disciplinary Board Recommendation; and Washington Supreme Court Order.

This Mr. Callow is not to be confused with Justice Keith Callow — a fine man and a good jurist. He was the Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court for a time.  He was defeated in and election 1990 by relatively unknown lawyer, Charles W. Johnson (who is also a good judge and a fine man).

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Nebraska Supreme Court Deunifies the Nebraska Integrated Bar

On December 6, 2013, the Nebraska Supreme Court issued its decision s petition for a rule change. See In re Petition for a Rule Change to Create a Voluntary State Bar of Nebraska, 286 Neb. 1018, 841 N.W.2d 167 (2013).  In its decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court chose to retain the NSBA as a mandatory bar association but restricted NSBA activities that may be funded by mandatory dues to the following six categories, which were found to be germane to the regulation of the legal profession:

    1. Admitting qualified applicants to membership in the NSBA;
    2. Maintaining the records of membership;s members;
    3.  Regulating the mandate of continuing legal education;
    4. Maintaining records of trust fund requirements for lawyers; and
    5. Pursuing those who engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
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Billings Montana Attorney Disciplined

A Billings attorney has been disciplined regarding efforts in an adoption matter — failed to notify the father of the child and advised the judge that no one other than his clients had an interest in the child.  There is more to the story.  Billings attorney to be suspended for unethical adoption case, withholding records, Billings Gazette, July 30, 2014.

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Texas — 8 Texas lawyers & 3 judges disciplined

Houston Legal, a lawyer blog in Houston, Texas, which is part of the Houston Chronicle, reports that 8 Texas lawyers & 3 judges disciplined have recently been disciplined.  The reports do not describe the conduct which formed the exact basis for the ethics violations.

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Bar complaint against lawyer for sexual relations with client

Here is a link to a bar complaint against a Minnesota lawyer who had sexual relations with a client and billed her for the time.  The Complaint.

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Florida — Recent Discipline Actions

The Florida Supreme Court disciplined 11 South Florida attorneys in recent actions brought by the Florida Bar.  South Florida Business Journal.

This post will eventually be added to so that the way in which the Florida Bar is regulated may be understood.  For the time being it looks as though the Florida Bar is said to be “an arm” of the Florida Supreme Court.

 

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