Topeka — A former assistant attorney general has been disciplined by the state's highest court.
The Supreme Court suspended the license of James W. Coder of Topeka for a year over his handling of two lawsuits against three public defenders and a legal investigator in Johnson County.
The lawsuits were filed by a convicted murderer who argued that his defense hadn't been effective and who represented himself. The Supreme Court upheld his convictions in 1998.
Coder was sanctioned because a disciplinary panel concluded that he wasn't diligent in handling the cases and had failed to comply with orders to produce information.
Coder left the attorney general's office in March 2000. His conduct was reported to disciplinary officials by the office.