In re Walton

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Professional Responsibility
  • Date Filed: 10-11-2012
  • Case #: S060606
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam
  • Full Text Opinion

The Oregon Supreme Court independently determines sanctions for reciprocal discipline proceedings when the lawyer's conduct also violates Oregon's professional rules.

The Oregon Supreme Court has an independent duty to determine sanctions for reciprocal discipline proceedings when a lawyer's conduct violates Oregon's professional rules. Walton was licensed to practice law in Hawaii and Oregon. Walton was appointed Special Prosecutor for the Republic of Palau in 2001. Walton resigned in 2008, however he continued to use the Republic of Palau's Westlaw passwords for legal research. Hawaii's Disciplinary Counsel imposed a public reprimand and provided the order to the Oregon State Bar (OSB). The Court accepted the Hawaii Disciplinary Counsel's conclusion that Walton had engaged in dishonest conduct, violating RPC 8.4(a)(3), which in turn violates RPC 8.4(a)(1). Furthermore, the Court rejected OSB's claims that Walton had committed a criminal act and that Walton had engaged in additional aggravating factors because clear and convincing evidence is lacking. In accordance with ABA Standards, the Court held that Walton's misconduct did not seriously adversely reflect on his fitness to practice law, the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors, and that Walton's conduct is unlikely to recur. The accused is publicly reprimanded.

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