453 U.S. 907 (1981)

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U.S. Supreme Court

IN RE STRICKLAND , 453 U.S. 907 (1981)

453 U.S. 907

In the Matter of DISBARMENT OF Maurice R. STRICKLAND
No. D-222

Supreme Court of the United States

June 29, 1981

Response to Rule to Show Cause.

It is ordered that the order of this Court entered March 9, 1981, suspending Maurice R. Strickland from the further practice of law in this Court is vacated and that the Rule to Show Cause issued March 9, 1981, is discharged.

Chief Justice BURGER, with whom Justice REHNQUIST joins, dissenting.

Maurice R. Strickland was admitted to the practice of law in New Jersey in 1960, and admitted to practice before this Court in 1966. He has not practiced in this Court.

Prior to As a result of his actions, complaints were filed against him with the Essex County Ethics Committee. After a plenary hearing before the Committee, the Supreme Court of New Jersey entered an order suspending Strickland from the practice for one year or until further order of the court. The suspension remained in effect until February 1981, and was not reported to this Court until then either by Strickland or that court.

Page 453 U.S. 907 , 908

Strickland continued to meet with members of the Committee, admitted his misappropriations, and arranged to repay the funds he had misappropriated. The funds were repaid by February 1978. A formal hearing was conducted by the Committee on April 30, 1980. The Committee recommended leniency. A hearing then was held by the Disciplinary Review Board of the Supreme Court of New Jersey which recommended that Strickland be suspended for five years commencing November 15, 1975. On February 3, 1981, the Supreme Court of New Jersey adopted the recommendation of the Disciplinary Review Board. Strickland immediately applied to the Supreme Court of New Jersey for reinstatement. He was reinstated on March 4, 1981.

On February 10, 1981, this Court, for the first time learned of Strickland's suspension. On March 9, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 8, Strickland was suspended from practice before this Court and ordered to show cause why his name should not be stricken from our rolls.

In response to the order to show cause, Strickland filed a petition for reinstatement. Strickland states that he has not practiced law since November 1975, has admitted his defalcations, and has made restitution. Since July 1977, he has been employed as an investigator and administrative analyst by the Essex County Welfare Board. Having been reinstated to the practice of law by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, Strickland intends to re-enter private practice specializing in the area of welfare law. As mitigating factors, Strickland states that he joined Alcoholics Anonymous in 1974, and has abstained from alcohol since then. He asserts he is active in his church and in the parents-teachers association.

Supreme Court Rule 8 provides that if a member of the Court's Bar is suspended from practice in any court of record, the attorney shall be suspended forthwith from practice before the Court and order to show cause why he should not be disbarred. The Rule's import is that absent exceptional [453 U.S. 907 , 909]

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