Disciplinary Bd. v. Light - 20080320
The Disciplinary Board recommends this Court accept a hearing panel's recommendation that Robert M. Light be disbarred and be ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding.
Light was admitted to practice law in December 1990. In January and December 2007, Light was served with petitions for discipline in a total of seven unrelated matters. This Court placed Light on interim suspension in August 2007, pending final disposition of the disciplinary proceedings upon the complaints filed. Disciplinary Bd. v. Light, 2007 ND 129, 737 N.W.2d 242. Disciplinary Counsel filed a subsequent application for interim suspension and this Court continued Light's suspension on the basis of Light's conviction of a serious crime as defined by N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 4.1(C) and until further order pending disposition of the disciplinary proceeding predicated upon the conviction. Disciplinary Bd. v. Light, 2007 ND 170, 741 N.W.2d 215.
Light responded to the petitions for discipline, and a hearing panel was appointed. A hearing was held in August 2008. The hearing panel filed its findings, conclusions, and recommendations in December 2008. The panel found that Light had been retained by several clients but failed to communicate with them or did not do the work for which he had been retained in violation of N.D.R. Prof. Conduct 1.15(d), Safekeeping Property; 1.3, Diligence; 1.4, Communication; 8.4(g), Misconduct; 8.1, Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters. The panel also found Light had also been convicted of a felony--terrorizing, in violation of N.D.C.C. § 12.1-17-04, in violation of N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 1.2A(2) and N.D.R. Prof. Conduct 8.4(b). On the basis of its findings and several aggravating factors, the hearing panel recommended Light be disbarred.
Light objects to the hearing panel's finding relating to a December 2006 incident. He argues the panel's finding that he carried a firearm or dangerous weapon concealed in his automobile and therefore recklessly pointed a cocked and loaded automatic handgun at a police officer while he was intoxicated is not supported by the record.