Archive for Friday, July 11, 2003

High court suspends Lawrence attorney

July 11, 2003


The Kansas Supreme Court called a well-known Lawrence attorney a "loose cannon" Friday as it ordered the one-year suspension of his law license.

Jim Rumsey was accused in two separate complaints from clients he represented in the late 1990s. One case was a divorce; the other involved an on-the-job injury.

Rumsey admitted that while handling the cases, he violated a number of professional-conduct rules -- for example, mingling an unearned advance fee with his personal money and failing to keep the injured woman and her family informed about the status of her case.

In Friday's ruling, the court noted Rumsey had been disciplined repeatedly for violating professional conduct standards during his 25-year career.

"Rumsey has demonstrated his inability or indifference by not only repeating his violations, but by escalating, rather than diminishing, the number of violations," the court said in its unsigned ruling.

"We agree with (disciplinary panel) Chairman (Philip) Ridenhour when he stated that Rumsey is a 'loose cannon' who 'alternately ignores and then pushes around his clients, commingles clients' funds with his own, and fails to advise clients when he has terminated his representation of them.'"

For more on this story, see the 6News report at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunflower Broadband's Channel 6 and pick up a copy of Saturday's Journal-World.

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