Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mara Leveritt wins a victory for the public

Posted By on Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 7:23 AM

CASE SETTLEMENT: Mara Leveritt with Jason Baldwin, whose legal case led to a complaint by Leveritt against Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. That complaint, in turn, has led to settlement of a lawsuit over lawyer regulatory agency rules.
  • Brian Chilson
  • CASE SETTLEMENT: Mara Leveritt with Jason Baldwin, whose legal case led to a complaint by Leveritt against Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. That complaint, in turn, has led to settlement of a lawsuit over lawyer regulatory agency rules.

Speaking of citizen lawyering:

Mara Leveritt, senior contributor and spiritual mother of the Arkansas Times, has struck another blow for the public interest.

She sends word of settlement of her federal lawsuit against the state Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility, which oversees lawyer conduct in Arkansas.

She challenged the rule that bound people complaining about lawyer misconduct to confidentiality. To settle the lawsuit, the committee and executive director Stark Ligon have agreed to ask the state Supreme Court to amend its rules to continue confidentiality of complaints except that a complainant would be allowed to discuss it publicly. The rule has always struck me, too, as a blatant First Amendment abridgement (as is a similar rule on complaints to the state Ethics Commission) and I have always ignored it, though a violation can bring a contempt proceeding and imprisonment for a finding of contempt. The settlement does not constitute any admission of wrong by the regulators.

Here's Leveritt's original complaint. It was filed after Ligon notified her that she could be held in contempt for making public complaints she had filed in 2011 with his office regarding to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's actions in defending the convictions of the West Memphis Three. She contended he violated ethical rules in continuing to fight for the convictions despite an outpouring of questions that eventually led to their release. The Supreme Court committee declined to take up that complaint. It said it had no authority to review official actions such as those taken by McDaniel.

Leveritt's lawsuit will be dismissed within 10 days after the Supreme Court approves the rule change. If it does. Surely ....

PS - I should have noted originally that Jeff Rosenzweig did the successful lawyering for Mara in this case.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Arkansas Supreme Court denies rehearing in death penalty challenge, but delays mandate

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today refused to rehear the case denying Death Row inmates information about drugs used by the state in the lethal injection process.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Welspun layoffs: Another example of corporate welfare folly

    Layoffs at the Welspun pipe plant in Little Rock are a reminder of the folly of corporate welfare and the inability of Arkansas to separate itself from global economic forces. See the Fayetteville shale. And keep a watchful eye on that Sun Paper pulp mill proposed near Arkadelphia.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Hamburg bank manager gets 21 months for theft

    Melinda Gwin, 49, of Hamburg has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $210,875 stolen from the First National Bank of Crossett. She was sentenced in El Dorado federal court, according to a Justice Department news release.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Torii Hunter calls writer a prick for asking about endorsement of Asa Hutchinson

    Torii Hunter, the Pine Bluff native and major league baseball star, called a reporter a prick four times during a news conference yesterday for asking about his endorsement of Asa Hutchinson for Arkansas governor and his opposition in that endorsement to same-sex marriage.
    • Dec 4, 2014
  • Rep. Nate Bell blasts adoption story before seeing it; 'rehoming' bill introduced

    Response to our story about rehoming and adoption has been overwhelmingly positive, with one exception. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) has informed me that writing this story makes me the predator and Justin Harris the victim. I'm hellbound, apparently.
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • Jumbo waterslide event Slide the City coming to LR, Fayetteville

    Slide the City, a traveling water carnival that sets up events in which they unfurl a 1,000-foot-long, padded, dual-lane, side-bumpered mega-version of the old Slip'N Slide down the middle of a city street, is coming to Little Rock and Fayetteville soon. So says their website, anyway. No word yet on a date, but pages for both cities are currently open for pre-registration.
    • Dec 5, 2014

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Tackling autism, child by child

    An Arkansas Children's Hospital doctor is testing a new drug that targets one of a host of ailments the highly individual disorder can cause.
  • 1957 all over again

    Last week, the State Board of Education voted to ignore federal courts and allow school district transfers that will encourage segregation.
  • Death penalty lives

    Barely clinging to its flagging life, the death penalty got a merciful reprieve last month from the unlikeliest quarter, the Arkansas Supreme Court.
  • Drinking culture

    Here we go again. At the rate these campus sexual abuse sagas are making news, it's reasonable to ask what college administrators can possibly be thinking about.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation