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D-10-0015 In re Wick

Professional Responsibility
Disbarment

An attorney cannot resign from the bar to avoid disciplinary proceedings.

“Some courts, it seems, allow withdrawal more or less automatically even after disciplinary proceedings have been instituted-even when instituted by the very court from whose bar the lawyer seeks to withdraw. See, e.g., In re Barrett, 549 U.S. 948 (2006) (mem.); In re Clinton, 534 U.S. 1016 (2001) (mem.); cf. In re Weston, 442 N.E.2d 236, 239 (Il. 1982). Maybe these courts don’t want to be bothered with completing the disciplinary proceeding, since voluntary withdrawal has similar consequences to the discipline that would be meted out at the end of the proceedings-though not identical consequences because the reason for the withdrawal is not publicly disclosed and so there is the danger of misleading that the Second Circuit noted in the Jaffe case. We have not been burdened by frequent requests to allow resignation from our bar, and so we don’t have the excuse of workload to justify imitating the practice of such courts. When an attorney is removed from the roll of attorneys admitted to practice before this court, we don’t want to leave the impression that the separation was innocent if in fact it was precipitated by the attorney’s wrongdoing.”
Disbarred.

D-10-0015 In re Wick

Disciplinary Matter, Posner, J.

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