The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility has filed a petition for disciplinary action against respondent Christopher Aubrey Donnelly seeking reciprocal discipline after respondent was suspended in Oregon for 90 days and required to seek formal reinstatement under Or. State Bar R. 8.1. Oregon disciplined respondent for failing to withdraw from representations after mental health and substance abuse issues materially impaired his ability to represent clients and he failed to communicate with clients about these issues, in violation of Or. R. Prof. Conduct 1.4(a)-(b) and 1.16(a)(2).
We ordered respondent to inform us whether he thought reciprocal discipline is warranted and the reasons for his view and permitted the Director to file a responsive brief. See Rule 12(d), Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility (RLPR). Only the Director filed a brief on whether reciprocal discipline is warranted.
When an attorney has been publicly disciplined in another jurisdiction, the court imposes reciprocal discipline "unless it appears that discipline procedures in the other jurisdiction were unfair, or the imposition of the same discipline would be unjust or substantially different from discipline warranted in Minnesota." Id. "Unless the Court determines otherwise, a final adjudication in another jurisdiction that a lawyer had committed certain misconduct shall establish conclusively the misconduct for purposes of disciplinary proceedings in Minnesota." Id.
The disciplinary proceedings in Oregon were fair. The imposition of the same discipline would not be unjust or substantially different from discipline warranted in Minnesota.
Based upon all the files, records, and proceedings herein,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. Respondent Christopher Aubrey Donnelly is indefinitely suspended, effective 14 days from the date of this order, with no right to petition for reinstatement for 90 days.
2. Respondent may petition for reinstatement pursuant to Rule 18(a)-(d), RLPR. Reinstatement is conditioned on successful completion of the written examination required for admission to the practice of law by the State Board of Law Examiners on the subject of professional responsibility, see Rule 18(e)(2), RLPR, and satisfaction of continuing legal education requirements, see Rule 18(e)(4), RLPR.
3. Respondent shall comply with Rule 26, RLPR (requiring notice of suspension to clients, opposing counsel, and tribunals), and shall pay $900 in costs pursuant to Rule 24(a), RLPR.
Dated: February 5, 2020
BY THE COURT:
David L. Lillehaug