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Archive for Friday, August 13, 2010

Kansas Supreme Court disbars Lawrence attorney Chris Miller

Attorney found to have practiced on suspended license

August 13, 2010, 10:20 a.m. Updated August 13, 2010, 12:00 p.m.

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In a decision released Friday morning, the Kansas Supreme Court agreed to disbar a Lawrence attorney for unauthorized practice of law while he was suspended.

The justices ruled Miller’s conduct was not inadvertent “but rather a carefully planned scheme to circumvent the suspension order in order to continue his law practice.”

A panel for the Kansas Board for Discipline Attorneys accused Chris Miller of not altering his conduct after he was suspended in December 2006. The Supreme Court had suspended Miller for two years for overbilling the Kansas Insurance Department.

Miller and Chris Cowger, a Topeka attorney at the time, had reached an agreement to have Cowger take over Miller’s practice, which included a high volume of workers’ compensation cases. But the disciplinary board said Miller simply changed the signature line on letters and pleadings and had hired Cowger to review and sign documents and make court appearances.

The two sides also dispute whether Cowger or Miller owned the law practice in 2007 during Miller’s suspension.

His attorney in the case, John Ambrosio, contended the legal work Miller “performed during his suspension was solely in the capacity of a law clerk, legal assistant or receptionist.”

But Kansas Supreme Court justices ruled Cowger was only an independent contractor — his compensation was reported to the Internal Revenue Service as such — and that Miller engaged in unauthorized practice of law.

“Ordinarily, an independent contractor of a corporation would have no authority to supervise and direct the actions of the corporation's employees,” according to the decision. “Here, Cowger confirmed that his responsibilities were limited to his contractual obligation and that he had no corporate responsibilities. That left Miller working for the corporation without attorney supervision.”

The justices also ruled Miller, as a suspended attorney, could not function independently doing legal work in the office.

“A suspended attorney cannot function independently as a law clerk or paralegal; he or she must work for and be supervised by a licensed attorney who is ultimately responsible for the paralegal work,” according to the decision.

Ron Keefover, a state Supreme Court spokesman, said there is a process for a disbarred attorney to get reinstated after several years, but he said that was extremely rare.

Miller served as a past chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, and his term ended in 2004.

Comments

YoMomma 3 years, 8 months ago

Machiavelli_mania

lol Ummm....No, but keep living in your fantasy world. No one checks posts for accuracy so you are safe.

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Machiavelli_mania 3 years, 8 months ago

"Miller served as a past chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, and his term ended in 2004."

This pretty much says an entire novel about this man. Isn't he the one who used a Lawrence Baptist church automated telephone service to Illegally (!!!!) tell all the Democrat voters in this county that they had to had their voters' registration card to be able to vote in a national presidential election, and who subsequently confessed and got prosecuted for it? Boy that name sound so very familiar.

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yankeevet 3 years, 8 months ago

A lawyer's dog, running around town unleashed, heads for a butcher shop and steals a roast. The butcher goes to the lawyer's office and asks, "if a dog running unleashed steals a piece of meat from my store, do I have a right to demand payment for the meat from the dog's owner?" The lawyer answers, "Absolutely."

"Then you owe me $8.50. Your dog was loose and stole a roast from me today."

The lawyer, without a word, writes the butcher a check for $8.50. The butcher, having a feeling of satisfaction, leaves.

Three days later, the butcher finds a bill from the lawyer: $100 due for a consultation.

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Boosh 3 years, 8 months ago

Lawyers have the best lawyer jokes :)

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missunderestimate 3 years, 8 months ago

Can't he own three liquor stores? This is America!

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50YearResident 3 years, 8 months ago

It couldn't have happened to a better person.

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brewmaster 3 years, 8 months ago

Why are there so many scummy people that are lawyers? The legal profession seems like a cesspool of corruption and dishonesty.

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BigPrune 3 years, 8 months ago

An attorney not overbilling is the exception, not the rule. Of course they all stick together and protect their own, so I'm quite surprised any attorneys get into any trouble at all, especially since judges are attorneys as well. The judges must've had a beef.

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bondmen 3 years, 8 months ago

Practicing law can be a very dirty business. It is highly unusual but occasionally expected that the kettle will call the pot black! We in the laity can usually tell when a lawyer is not telling the truth by simply looking to see if their lips are moving!

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matthewjherbert 3 years, 8 months ago

I rented a house from him on 21st and Tennessee while at KU. Incidentally, that house burned to the ground two years ago.

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ghostofrealityspeaks 3 years, 8 months ago

About time, he was and is a disgrace. He was a shady as they come.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 3 years, 8 months ago

Remember: Bottom-feeders are also part of the ecosystem. If you ever get in any REAL trouble, don't hire the Mother Theresa of lawyers.

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Christine Anderson 3 years, 8 months ago

Hmmmm, now if there were only a few others that could join Mr. Miller.

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Esq2eB 3 years, 8 months ago

Not Obama's fault, this is clearly Bush's fault. Back in 2006 Mr. Miller still needed to work for a living. Now Obama will pay for his healthcare, mortgage, groceries, gas, etc, etc. Clearly Bush's fault, as he expected people to work for a living.

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justfornow 3 years, 8 months ago

This was Obama's fault, it's so easy to see.

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CLARKKENT 3 years, 8 months ago

ITS ABOUT TIME.

BOZO--I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS A GOOD REPUBLICAN----LAWYER.[SMILE]

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consumer1 3 years, 8 months ago

The actual difference in republicans and democrats is only the spelling.

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edjayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Didn't he have some hokie television commercial?

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SDTPlant 3 years, 8 months ago

lurn, A good start? He joins some pretty elite company, e.g., Phred Ffelps.

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powershopper 3 years, 8 months ago

Lurn, I would call that "a good start"

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lurn 3 years, 8 months ago

What do you call 2000 Republicans at the bottom of the ocean?

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Kontum1972 3 years, 8 months ago

what exactly is a good republican....?

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fabian_zimbabwe 3 years, 8 months ago

Before the day is out, someone on this thread will somehow find a way to blame Obama for this...

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 8 months ago

This is precisely why we need a new system of selecting judges. Miller may be corrupt, but he was a good Republican, so he shouldn't have been disbarred.

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scopi_guy 3 years, 8 months ago

Not new or fresh by any stretch, but what do you call 2000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 8 months ago

Anybody got fresh, new lawyer jokes?

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