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MISSISSIPPI STATE BAR v. ATTORNEY A

SEPTEMBER 11, 1985

MISSISSIPPI STATE BAR
v.
ATTORNEY A



ON MOTION OF STATE BAR TO SUSPEND LICENSE, AND STAY OTHER DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS PENDING APPEAL

EN BANC.

HAWKINS, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This matter comes before us on the second motion of the Mississippi State Bar to strike the name of Attorney A from the rolls of the State Bar and suspend his license to practice law; and also to stay all disciplinary proceedings against this attorney by the State Bar until his appeal from a judgment finding him in contempt of court for a willful misrepresentation to the court. The Bar

 asserts that under Rule 6 of the Rules of Discipline, this attorney's license should be suspended pending the outcome of his appeal. Attorney A counters that the court which found him in contempt had no jurisdiction to conduct the contempt proceedings.

 While we do not find Attorney A's contention persuasive, we do find that Rule 6 is inapplicable to this case and therefore deny the motion of the Bar. The disciplinary proceedings against this attorney should proceed in due course.

 FACTS

 On June 14, 1984, the district attorney of that district filed an information charging Attorney A of contempt of the Washington County Chancery Court for intentional and knowing misrepresentation of facts to the court, which impeded the administration of justice. A demurrer to this information was overruled, the Chancery Court of Washington County on September 5, 1984, conducted a hearing, and entered judgment on October 17, 1984. The judgment recited that the attorney had on February 24, 1984, knowingly and willfully misrepresented to the court that his client had agreed to settle a case, when in truth and in fact this client had refused to do so. Attorney A was fined $500 and sentenced to 30 days in jail, with the jail sentence suspended.

 On October 26, 1984, the Mississippi State Bar filed a formal complaint against Attorney A, attaching a copy of the Chancery Court judgment.

 On that date the State Bar also filed a motion to strike Attorney's A name from the roll of the State Bar and suspend him from the practice of law pending disposition of his appeal from the Chancery Court judgment. The Bar asserted as authority for such suspension Rule 6 of the Rules of Discipline for the State Bar.

 On November 5, 1984, Attorney A filed a motion to stay any action upon the complaint and a motion to strike. Attorney A's motion alleged lack of jurisdiction in the Washington County Chancery Court, and that to strike his name from the Bar rolls would violate due process. He also asserted a motion for a new trial had been filed with the Chancery Court, but had not been ruled upon.

 On November 6, 1984, the State Bar responded to Attorney A's motion, and while denying the merits thereof,

 did agree he was entitled to stay any proceedings to strike his name from the rolls until the chancery judge had ruled on his motion for a new trial.

 A Justice of this Court accordingly entered an order on November 15, 1984, to stay proceedings until final disposition of this cause pending in the Chancery Court.

 On June 22, 1985, the chancery judge entered an order denying Attorney A's motion for a new trial, and on July 9, 1985, the State Bar again filed with us a motion to enter an order of suspension pending final disposition of this attorney's appeal on the contempt judgment, and to stay all disciplinary proceedings against him ...


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