Friday, October 25, 2013

Former Attorney General Disbarred

Former Kansas Attorney General Phillip Kline lost his law license indefinitely after the Kansas Supreme Court found that he violated lawyer ethics rules, reported  The charges stem from Kline's well publicized attack on abortion providers.

In a unanimous decision, the court found that Kline, attorney general from 2003 to 2007, demonstrated “overzealous advocacy” and failed to operate “within the bounds of the law.”

The court, in a 154-page decision, found that he gave false court testimony about information obtained during a criminal investigation of abortion providers.

The seven-justice panel also found that he ordered staffers to include court-sealed documents in a public brief and told employees to file court papers containing misleading information. The justices found that Kline “violated his duties to the public, the legal system, and the legal profession.”

Kansas disciplinary administrator Stanton Hazlett had sought Kline’s permanent disbarment, a punishment the justices rejected, finding that his conduct did not demonstrate intent to violate the rules. Hazlett did not return a call seeking comment.

As a prosecutor, Kline filed dozens of charges against a Planned Parenthood clinic, accusing it of performing illegal abortions and falsifying records. The last of those charges were dismissed last year. He also pursued criminal charges against a local doctor, whose charges were eventually thrown out.

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