An attorney convicted of a felony is automatically disqualified from practicing law until the sentence is completely served, including parole. In this original proceeding in discipline, the Supreme Court reversed a Hearing Board conditional reinstatement of an attorney convicted of DUI/manslaughter and sentenced to 8 years in prison and 5 years of parole. The attorney sought, and was granted, reinstatement to the practice of law while still on parole. The Attorney Regulation Counsel appealed reinstatement, arguing that CRS 18-1.3-401 barred reinstatement as a matter of law. The Court agreed, emphasizing that parole is merely non-physical confinement, but not release from custody. Therefore, until such time an attorney on parole has completed the full sentence and is unconditionally released from custody, he cannot be reinstated to the practice of law.
Tag Archives: Reinstatement
Suing for civil rights violations is complicated. Concluding a years-long controversy regarding the termination of Ward Churchill, the Supreme Court held that the CU Regents were absolutely immune from suit for claims arising from his termination. Churchill was given 5 internal hearings, presented evidence, examined witnesses, and made arguments under a clear standard of review. The Court held that the Regents are immune from suit for their quasi-judicial decisions. Plus, CRCP 106 review can also prevent constitutional violations. The acrimony between CU and Churchill meant that reinstatement plus wages was not equitable or justified. Finally, even if the investigation was bad faith retaliation for free speech, there is no clear law on that point, so, the Regents could not know if they actually violated his Constitutional rights, and thus also had qualified immunity.