ATTORNEY FOR COMPLAINANT: JAMES R. CLARK
WALLER, CHIEF JUSTICE.
This matter is before the Court on the Mississippi Bar's
formal complaint against attorney John H. Clegg pursuant to
Rule 13 of the Mississippi Rules of Discipline.
Clegg is licensed to practice law in both Louisiana and
Mississippi. On July 6, 2010, the Louisiana Supreme Court
found that Clegg had violated Rule 8.4(a) and (b) of the
Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct by possessing and
using crack cocaine, an illegal act that reflected adversely
on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer.
In re John H. Clegg, No. 10-B-0323, at 26 (La. Jul.
6, 2010). The Louisiana Court suspended Clegg from the
practice of law for a period of one year and one day, with
all but six months of the suspension deferred on the
condition that Clegg provide written confirmation that he has
executed a recovery agreement with the Louisiana Bar
Association's Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) prior to
being reinstated. Id. at 29. Upon reinstatement,
Clegg would be placed on unsupervised probation for two
years, subject to the condition that he fully comply with the
recovery agreement. Id.
According to the Louisiana State Bar Association's
website, Clegg currently remains ineligible to practice law
in Louisiana. We also note that Clegg has been suspended
from practicing law in Mississippi since 2011 for failure to
pay his Bar dues.
On March 7, 2017,  the Mississippi Bar filed the instant
complaint against Clegg seeking reciprocal discipline under
Rule 13. A certified copy of the Louisiana Court's
judgment was included in the record. The Bar requests that
this Court "appropriately discipline Mr. Clegg" and
order him to pay costs and expenses associated with the
filing of the instant case, along with any other relief
deemed proper. The complaint was personally served on the
Executive Director of the Mississippi Bar on March 9,
2017. Clegg did not file a response to the
This Court possesses the exclusive authority to discipline
attorneys practicing within this state. Miss. R. Discipline
1(a). While Clegg currently is not an active member in good
standing with the Mississippi Bar due to his failure to pay
Bar dues,  this Court retains disciplinary
jurisdiction over him nonetheless. See Miss. Bar v.
Beal, 167 So.3d 180, 182 n.1 (Miss. 2014); Miss. Bar
v. Inserra, 929 So.2d 884 (Miss. 2006).
Rule 13 of the Mississippi Rules of Discipline authorizes
this Court to impose reciprocal discipline on a
Mississippi-licensed attorney who has been sanctioned in
another jurisdiction, upon certification from the other
When an attorney should be subjected to disciplinary
sanctions in another jurisdiction, such sanction shall be
grounds for disciplinary action in this state, and
certification of such sanction by the appropriate authority
of such jurisdiction to the Executive Director of the Bar or
to the Court, shall be conclusive evidence of the guilt of
the offense or unprofessional conduct on which said sanction
was ordered, and it will not be necessary to prove the
grounds for such offense in the disciplinary proceeding in
this state. The sole issue to be determined in the
disciplinary proceeding in this state shall be the extent of
the final discipline to be imposed on the attorney, which may
be less or more severe than the discipline imposed by the
R. Discipline 13. The certified copy of the Louisiana Supreme
Court's judgment against Clegg serves as "conclusive
evidence of the guilt of the offense or unprofessional
conduct." Id. Accordingly, the sole issue
before this Court is the discipline to be imposed.
Id. In determining the appropriate sanction to
impose, this Court considers the following criteria:
(1) the nature of the misconduct involved; (2) the need to
deter similar misconduct; (3) the preservation of the dignity
and reputation of the profession; (4) protection of the
public; (5) the sanctions imposed in similar cases; (6) the
duty violated; (7) the lawyer's mental state; (8) the
actual or potential injury resulting from the misconduct; and
(9) the existence of aggravating and/or mitigating factors.
Miss. Bar v. Hodges, 949 So.2d 683, 686 (Miss.
2006). "As long as each criterion is taken into
consideration, we need not address each separately."
Caldwell v. Miss. Bar, 118 So.3d 549, 554 (Miss.
2012) (citing Hodges, 949 So.2d at 686). In
reciprocal-discipline cases, "the sanction imposed in
this State generally mirrors the sanction imposed in the
sister state, absent extraordinary circumstances which
compel, justify or support variance from the ...