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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Lawrence attorney disbarred, accused of $200,000 ethics violation

May 3, 2013

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A Lawrence attorney has been disbarred after being accused of misconduct in collecting $200,000 in private-practice fees while working as a trust officer for a bank.

Related document

Jon Michael King order of disbarment ( .PDF )

An order from the Kansas Supreme Court on Friday said that Jon Michael King surrendered his law license amid the investigation of a five-count ethics complaint filed against him by the Kansas Board for the Discipline of Attorneys. King is accused of violating a professional code of ethics by earning money in private practice while employed by the bank, contrary to the bank's policy, according to a statement from Ron Keefover, a spokesman for the court.

King worked full-time as a trust officer for The Trust Company of Kansas from 2004 to 2011. Reached by phone Friday, he said he could not comment on the legal action.

Comments

Bob Forer 1 year, 5 months ago

The allegations do not appear to be serious enough to warrant disbarment. Perhaps the article doesn't reveal all of the facts.

2

somebodynew 1 year, 5 months ago

I agree, Synch - I have seen much worse and not get disbarred. This article can't be supplying all the details.

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lunatic 1 year, 5 months ago

Really!!! Ethics violations don't seem serious to you cowboys?

1

somebodynew 1 year, 5 months ago

You mis-understand lunatic. Yes, any ethics violation is a serious offense to me, but what I was saying is that I have seen other attorneys with what appeared to be much more serious ethics violations NOT get disbarred. Sometimes a suspension or having to work 'under supervision' for a period of time, but not disbarment for the first offense. There just seems to be a whole lot more to this that what has been provided in the Court's statement.

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Ian_Cummings 1 year, 5 months ago

The document released by the court today doesn't contain all of the details of the ethics complaint. I've posted it in the story so readers can take a look for themselves. Ian Cummings, LJW.

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costello 1 year, 5 months ago

Not too many details in the order:

"...Jon Michael King of Lawrence, Kansas, an attorney admitted to the practice of law in the state of Kansas, voluntarily surrendered his license to practice law in Kansas...

"At the time the respondent surrendered his license, he was pending a panel hearing on a complaint in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 211..."

http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2013/20130503/16013.pdf

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ksjayhawk74 1 year, 5 months ago

Our Secretary of State, Kris Kobach doesn't seem to have any trouble running a private legal practice while he's employed by the State...

I guess the Secretary of Sate job just isn't as important and demanding as being a trust officer for a local bank branch.

5

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

Sounds like a policy that the State of Kansas should adopt, dontcha think?

3

Newell_Post 1 year, 5 months ago

How does violation of the bank's internal policy equate to disbarment and loss of a professional license issued by the state? On the surface it sounds like grounds for termination for cause, but not disbarment. He was an employee who violated his agreement with his employer, so fire him. Sounds like there is more to this story......

Was there a conflict of interest of some kind in the legal work he did "on the side" and his work for the bank? Was he "double dipping" somehow? Those would seem like grounds for disbarment, if they happened.

1

Hardhawk1 1 year, 5 months ago

Under the rules, when you surrender your license you are automatically disbarred. The respondent chose to surrender his license, effectively disbarring himself. Had he fully participated in the disciplinary process and gone through the hearings, he might have ended up with lesser punishment. Usually people don't surrender their license unless it is a pretty bad set of facts.

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lawslady 1 year, 5 months ago

The S.Ct. rarely uses disbarment for anything except the most serious conduct (most of the time it is reserved for lying to the court or stealing from clients). Note this was a voluntary surrender. That probably means there is more to this story than what is in the court's order.

1

Slowponder 1 year, 5 months ago

No, Scott Stockwell was suspended for a year, not disbarred.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. -- Proverbs 17:28 and Maurice Switzer.

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Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm stunned, yes, he must have voluntarily turned over his ticket because the Disciplinary Administrator's office is a complete joke.Most of its rulings seem arbitrary and capricious. I'm betting those who suggest that there would be many more layers here to uncover are correct. Attorneys have become a blight on our society. Diogenes would not have to waste much time looking around a meeting of the BAR.

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