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Attorneys : Discipline – Probation – Ethical Violations

Stephanie Maniscalco//February 4, 2014

Attorneys : Discipline – Probation – Ethical Violations

Stephanie Maniscalco//February 4, 2014

Where an attorney who was already on probation violated various ethical rules in his representation of his estate-planning clients, the attorney’s misconduct arose from negligence rather than an intention to take advantage of the clients, so the Supreme Court ordered extended probation with additional conditions rather than revocation.


Bad behavior

Dissenting opinion by Fischer, J.: Based on Forck’s multiple disciplinary incidents, the multiple probation violations at issue here, his failure to comply with the OCDC’s investigation, and his two attempts to have this Court order the successful completion of his probation despite the ongoing investigation of complaints against him, this Court should revoke Forck’s probation and impose the suspension previously ordered as a result of the 2007 violations. In my view, this result is required because probation must mean something if it is to have any effect. Permitting attorneys to violate probation with little consequence sanctions bad behavior and damages the integrity of the legal profession, and, as stipulated, in this case caused harm to the public. Through his actions, Forck has demonstrated that he is no longer eligible for the probation imposed for his 2007 conduct. Accordingly, this Court should revoke probation and impose the originally ordered discipline.”

Probation ordered.

In re: Nathan J. Forck (MLW No. 65988/Case No. SC88961 – 28 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Draper III, J.; Russell, C.J., Stith and Teitelman, JJ., concur. Fischer, J., dissents in separate opinion filed; Breckenridge and Wilson, JJ., concur in opinion of Fischer, J.) Original disciplinary proceeding (Alan D. Pratzel, Sam S. Phillips and Carl E. Schaeperkoetter, Jefferson City, for the Chief Disciplinary Counsel) (Lori J. Levine and Jason H. Ludwig, Jefferson City, for attorney).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)


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