An Update on Right to Return to Practice By Eric Deters Re: The Extension of his Period of Suspension, and the effect on his Ohio Law License

Attorney Eric Deters has released the following press release.   It appears that the 61 day suspension ordered by the Ky. Supreme Court has now become a 91 day suspension with no end in sight, as Bar Counsel uses obscure rules to delay his reinstatement, and the effect this has on his Ohio Law License due to the reciprocity between states re: attorney discipline issues.     May 21, 2012

An Update on My Kentucky Law License By Eric Deters

I thought I would update my clients, fans, and friends.

I have now served nearly 30 more days than the Kentucky Supreme Court ordered on February 23, 2012. While I await the decision of last Tuesday’s confidential Character & Fitness hearing Interim Bar Counsel forced me to go through as part of a reinstatement process, I also await the Supreme Court’s ruling on challenge to the rule which allows Bar Counsel to do this to lawyers without a hearing before it takes effect.

What good is a hearing if it takes place after additional harm or suspension? Character & Fitness had to do their job. It’s not their fault. However, a hearing after more suspension is not due process. Interim Bar Counsel claims it is. This is the issue before the Kentucky Supreme Court.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has now had our challenge for 30 days. We have not received a decision.

If they rule this rule is unconstitutional, I’m immediately back. If they rule it is, I’m appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Court rules in my favor, there will be no appealing because it’s their rule.

If I do not hear anything by Friday, we are filing the same challenge in federal court on two grounds:

1. We are allowed to challenge bar rules in federal court on future proceeding grounds. We will file on this basis.

2. We will assert that if the State Supreme Court refuses to rule and just continue to “sit” on our petition and motion for injunctive relief, the federal courts should be allowed to rule. I do not deserve to be in limbo.

The federal courts on current bar matters have ruled—“Go to state court.” If the highest state court doesn’t rule, what else am I suppose to do? Especially if every day that goes by I suffer more harm.

Meanwhile, after the Character & Fitness issues their decision, we will then go before the Board of Governors, hopefully in June. If the Supreme Court rules for us, this is not necessary.

So, I can return in Kentucky one of two ways—favorable decision from the Kentucky Supreme Court which puts me back immediately or a favorable recommendation from Character & Fitness which I’ll take to the Board as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Ohio doesn’t review fresh what Kentucky does and simply accepts it. Therefore, I will have to serve a 61 day suspension in Ohio solely because what Kentucky decided. I’ll receive that Order any day. I was going to challenge this, but after learning it’s always a lost cause, I’m withdrawing my challenge.

Bottom line—I’m being punished far more severely than the Kentucky Board of Governors and the Kentucky Supreme Court ordered based upon an unconstitutional rule and an unfair policy on reciprocal discipline. I’m surprised neither the Board or Court has not acted with more haste to change the rule in question. They did so on the bond issue I fought to change.

I have always had great empathy for those suffering injustice. Please trust me when I say I have even more empathy and passion now as a result of what I have been through. I feel your pain. It will make me an even better lawyer.

 

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