Legal Memorandum: Due Process Rights of Attorneys in Disciplinary Proceedings

Issue: Do the due process rights of attorneys charged in reciprocal disciplinary proceedings present novel constitutional questions for the District of Columbia courts?

Area of Law: Constitutional Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Reciprocal disciplinary proceedings; Due process rights of attorneys; Res judicata and collateral estoppel
Jurisdiction: District of Columbia, Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: D.C. Bar Rule XI §11(c), (f)(2), and §10(d)
Date: 09/01/2000

The courts recognized that res judicata and collateral estoppel are related doctrines deserving of recognition in the federal courts. See Allen v. McCurry, 449 US 90, 92-104 (1980).  If the D.C. Court refused to even consider the res judicata effect of its prior order in this reciprocal attorney disciplinary proceeding, and went on to impose a severe sanction without affording notice or an opportunity to present evidence on the issue it chose to reconsider, then such a ruling would conflict with the Court’s holdings in Allen v. McCurry, 449 US 90, 92-104 (1980), A s "Arizona v. California 460 US 605" c 0Arizona v. California, 460 US 605 at 619 (1982), and A s "Montana v. United States 440 US 147" c 0Montana v. United States, 440 US 147, 153-154 (1979).

See the D.C. Bar Rule XI §11(c), (f)(2), and §10(d) as well as the Due Process Clause.  See D.C. Bar Rule XI §10(d) (imposing mandatory requirement that matter be referred to D.C. Bar Counsel upon determination that no serious crime was committed warranting immediate license suspension).

For discussions of Due Process rights of attorneys in disciplinary proceedings.  See In A s "Re: Ruffalo 390 US 544" c 0Re: Ruffalo, 390 US 544, 549 (1968); A s "Selling v. Radford 243 US 46" c 0Selling v. Radford, 243 US 46, 50 (1917) (attorneys have right to determinations of misconduct based upon evidence); 46, 50 (1917); see also Allen v. McCurry, 449 US 90, 92-104 (1980) […]

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