Risk Update

Conflicts Allegation & Discipline Execution: Sanctions & Disbarment

CSX Can’t DQ Atty Who Didn’t Disclose Past Sanctions” —

  • “A Tennessee federal judge has refused to disqualify an attorney from representing a couple in a personal injury suit against CSX Transportation, finding that the lawyer’s undisclosed record of sanctions does not amount to an ethical concern.”
  • “U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe B. Brown on Tuesday rejected CSX’s bid to disqualify Robert L. Pottroff because the lawyer had failed to disclose he had been sanctioned in one case and disqualified from serving in another, determining that the attorney’s actions in the prior cases did not arise to professional misconduct mandating disqualification, according to the order entered in the Middle District of Tennessee.”
  • “The District of Kansas sanctioned Pottroff in February 2018 in a case involving the derailment of a passenger train after the attorney engaged in ‘aggressive/abusive discovery tactics’ while representing several injured passengers who sought to intervene in the case, according to CSX’s memorandum. The Kansas court ordered Pottroff’s clients to pay attorney fees and costs related to the delays, according to the February 2018 order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James.”

And while not conflicts-related, some lawyers behaving badly, creating PR and search engine challenges for their firms, no doubt:

Ex-Skadden Associate Loses Law License for Lying in Mueller Probe” —

  • “The former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom associate who was jailed last year for lying during a probe into the 2016 presidential election has had his license to practice law taken away by the U.K.’s Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) and was ordered to pay costs of $3,878.”
  • “In the U.S. in February 2018, Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to a single charge brought by U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller. He was jailed for 30 days after he lied about his communications with former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates and an unnamed Ukrainian associate of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, during the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into Russian collusion during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

BigLaw partner leaves firm after reprimand for DWI and alleged nose punch” —

  • “A partner at Husch Blackwell in Madison, Wisconsin, has left the law firm after receiving a reprimand for allegedly punching a bar manager and driving while intoxicated.”
  • “The law firm issued this statement Tuesday: ‘We were surprised and disappointed to learn of Jeff’s misconduct and the resulting Supreme Court reprimand. Obviously, our firm does not condone or tolerate his behavior. Jeff has withdrawn from the firm, and as of today, he is no longer affiliated with Husch Blackwell.'”
  • “McIntyre pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge in May 2018 under a deferred prosecution agreement that would erase the charge in nine months.”
  • “McIntyre pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in October 2018. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, with privileges that allow inmates to leave jail for work. He had two prior convictions for the same offense—in March 2003 and in August 2014.”