The director of a state panel that regulates attorneys revealed in a court filing last week that the panel wants to disbar a Maumelle attorney who is accused of committing 176 violations of the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct.
Stark Ligon, executive director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct, asked a federal judge to send a disbarment action against attorney Teresa Bloodman back to the state court system after she transferred it to federal court Tuesday, effectively halting the disbarment proceeding that began Monday.
The disbarment trial was to begin April 30, but on the morning of the first day of trial, Bloodman handed Ligon a copy of a lawsuit she filed the same day in federal court against him, eight committee members, the seven justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court and a special justice. It alleges that the defendants conspired to violate Bloodman's constitutional rights based on "discriminatory animus."
In the lawsuit, Bloodman asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to block the Arkansas Supreme Court from "continuing the restriction of her law license" and lift her license suspension.
Bloodman, who is black, contends in the lawsuit that the committee met in a closed session March 18, 2016, and imposed an interim suspension of her law license without giving her an opportunity to be heard. She also alleges that Ligon and the committee members, all of whom are white except one, have treated her differently than white attorneys who have been accused of misconduct.
In support of his motion to have the disbarment action sent back to state court, Ligon attached a 175-page disbarment petition against Bloodman that was filed April 1, 2016. It cites numerous reports from banks to the committee about insufficient funds in her law office trust account, as well as suspicions that she was using the trust account as a personal or business account and otherwise was co-mingling funds.
Among other things, it alleges that she engaged in "dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation" in describing her experience and results in previous cases to potential new clients, including a client facing the death penalty. And it describes how at least six members of one family in the death-penalty case had filed for bankruptcy "as a direct or partial result of their efforts" to make payments to Bloodman.
Metro on 05/20/2018
Print Headline: Filing shows bid to disbar lawyer