366 F.2d 678 (9th Cir. 1966), 20306, Clark v. State of Wash.

Docket Nº20306.
Citation366 F.2d 678
Party NameNeal CLARK, Appellant, v. STATE OF WASHINGTON, and Washington State Bar Association, an agency of State government, Appellees, The State Bar of California, Amicus Curiae.
Case DateSeptember 26, 1966
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 678

366 F.2d 678 (9th Cir. 1966)

Neal CLARK, Appellant,

v.

STATE OF WASHINGTON, and Washington State Bar Association, an agency of State government, Appellees, The State Bar of California, Amicus Curiae.

No. 20306.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Sept. 26, 1966

Rehearing Denied Oct. 31, 1966.

Page 679

Neal Clark, Hadlock, Wash., in pro. per.

Raymond Royal, Seattle, Wash., for appellant Neal Clark.

T. M. Royce, Seattle, Wash., for appellee Washington State Bar Ass'n.

John J. O'Connell, Atty. Gen. of Wash., Edw. B. Mackie, Asst. Atty. Gen., Olympia, Wash., for appellee State of Washington.

Morris M. Doyle, David M. Heilbron, McCutchen, Doyle, Brown, Trautman & Enersen, San Francisco, Cal., for amicus curiae, The State Bar of California.

Before BARNES, HAMLEY and JERTBERG, Circuit Judges.

HAMLEY, Circuit Judge:

Neal Clark, having been disbarred from the practice of law by the Supreme Court of Washington, brought this action against the State of Washington and the Washington State Bar Association (Bar Association). He sought a decree to vacate the judgment of disbarment, an injunction to restrain defendants from revoking his license to practice law, an order to require defendants to restore him to the list of active members of the Bar Association, and a judgment for damages in the amount of twelve thousand dollars a year during the period of disbarment. In the alternative Clark asked that the state disciplinary proceedings 'be set aside, and that plaintiff be tried in accordance with law.'

Defendants moved to dismiss the action on the grounds that the district court lacked jurisdiction over them, and over the subject matter, and because the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The motion was granted on all grounds urged, and Clark appeals. 1

According to his complaint, Clark was admitted to practice law in the state courts of Washington on February 28, 1939, and in the federal district courts of that state on August 11, 1939. On March 20, 1961, the Bar Association commenced disciplinary proceedings against Clark pursuant to the Rules for Discipline of Attorneys, promulgated by the Supreme Court of Washington (57 Wash.2d xlvi, et seq.). The Bar Association charged him with three counts of conduct in violation of the Canons of Professional Ethics and his oath of attorney.

Clark was tried before a trial committee of the Bar Association which entered findings of fact and conclusions of law sustaining all the charges, and recommended disbarment. The Bar Association's Board of Governors reviewed the trial record and approved the committee's findings and conclusions as to two counts, but recommended dismissal of the third count. The Board also recommended disbarment. The Supreme Court of Washington approved the Board's recommendations and ordered disbarment, three members of the court dissenting on the limited ground that only a one-year suspension was warranted. In re Clark, 61 Wash.2d 547, 379 P.2d 354, cert. den., 375 U.S. 986, 84 S.Ct. 519, 11 L.Ed.2d 473, reh. den. 376 U.S. 935, 84 S.Ct. 698, 11 L.Ed.2d 655.

Clark then commenced this federal court suit against the State of Washington and the Bar Association, invoking district court jurisdiction under the Civil Rights Act, Rev.Stat. § 1979 (1875), 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1964), and 28 U.S.C. § 1343 (1964). He alleged that the disciplinary proceedings were conducted in such manner as to violate his rights under the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Page 680

In support of its motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction over it, the State of Washington argued in the district court, and urges here, that under the federal Constitution a state is immune from a suit in federal court brought by a citizen of that state.

It has been established since Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1, 10 S.Ct. 504, 33 L.Ed. 842, that a state is immune from federal court suits brought by its own citizens as well as by citizens of another state. This immunity is not affected by the fact that the case may be one arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States. Parden et al. v. Terminal Railway of Alabama State Docks Dept. et al., 377 U.S. 184, 186, 84 S.Ct. 1207, 12 L.Ed.2d 233; Skokomish Indian Tribe v. France, 9 Cir., 269 F.2d 555, 560. A state may waive such immunity. State of Missouri et al. v. Fiske et al.,290 U.S. 18, 24, 54 S.Ct. 18, 78 L.Ed. 145. There is nothing in the record before us, however, to indicate that the State of Washington waived its immunity from this kind of suit, or this particular suit, in federal court.

On this appeal, Clark does not directly contest the application of this constitutional principle in the case of defendant state, nor does he contend that the state has waived its immunity. He argues, however, that: (1) he is admitted to practice law in the federal courts of the State of Washington; (2) under the district court rules, his standing to practice law in federal courts is impaired by his disbarment by the Supreme Court of Washington; and (3) therefore, the federal district court has inherent jurisdiction to entertain this suit in order to protect his professional standing in federal courts.

Rule 2(e) of the Rules of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, effective January 1, 1966, provides in part:

'Whenever it is made to appear to the Court that any member of its bar has been disbarred or suspended from practice or convicted of a felony in...

To continue reading

Request your trial
204 practice notes
  • 423 F.2d 188 (2nd Cir. 1969), 109-110, Dacey v. New York County Lawyers' Ass'n
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 8, 1969
    ...and is therefore entitled to the same immunity which is afforded to prosecuting attorneys in that state.' Clark v. State of Washington, 366 F.2d 678, 681 (9th Cir. 1966). Thus, in my opinion, the decisions support the syllogism that (1) the judiciary Page 200 is immune from liability for da......
  • 448 F.Supp. 48 (D. Puerto Rico 1978), Civ. 77-1861, Rivera v. Monge
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 1st Circuit District of Puerto Rico
    • February 8, 1978
    ...111; In re Rhodes, 370 F.2d 411 (8 Cir., 1967), Cert. Den. 386 U.S. 999, 87 S.Ct. 1321, 18 L.Ed.2d 349; Clark v. State of Washington, 366 F.2d 678 (9 Cir., 1966); Kay v. The Florida Bar, 323 F.Supp. 1149 (D.C.Fla., 1971); Jones v. Hulse, 267 F.Supp. 37 (D.C.Mo., 1967), Aff'd. 391 F.2d 198, ......
  • 585 F.Supp. 499 (S.D.Cal. 1984), Civ. 83-1654, Levanti v. Tippen
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • May 7, 1984
    ...that tribunal. See Simons v. Bellinger, 643 F.2d 774, 782-84 (D.C.Cir.1980) and cases cited therein at 779; Clark v. State of Washington, 366 F.2d 678, 681 (9th Defendants further argue that the same quasi-judicial immunity protects them from liability for the promulgation of the phased gra......
  • 793 F.2d 149 (7th Cir. 1986), 85-1544, McMillan v. Svetanoff
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 10, 1986
    ...a judicial nature. See id., 106 S.Ct. at 1097; Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 96 S.Ct. 984, 47 L.Ed.2d 128 (1976); Clark v. Washington, 366 F.2d 678 (9th Cir.1966). Accordingly, only in the most extraordinary cases are executives shielded from damages liability. See Cleavinger v. Saxner,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
204 cases
  • 423 F.2d 188 (2nd Cir. 1969), 109-110, Dacey v. New York County Lawyers' Ass'n
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 8, 1969
    ...and is therefore entitled to the same immunity which is afforded to prosecuting attorneys in that state.' Clark v. State of Washington, 366 F.2d 678, 681 (9th Cir. 1966). Thus, in my opinion, the decisions support the syllogism that (1) the judiciary Page 200 is immune from liability for da......
  • 448 F.Supp. 48 (D. Puerto Rico 1978), Civ. 77-1861, Rivera v. Monge
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 1st Circuit District of Puerto Rico
    • February 8, 1978
    ...111; In re Rhodes, 370 F.2d 411 (8 Cir., 1967), Cert. Den. 386 U.S. 999, 87 S.Ct. 1321, 18 L.Ed.2d 349; Clark v. State of Washington, 366 F.2d 678 (9 Cir., 1966); Kay v. The Florida Bar, 323 F.Supp. 1149 (D.C.Fla., 1971); Jones v. Hulse, 267 F.Supp. 37 (D.C.Mo., 1967), Aff'd. 391 F.2d 198, ......
  • 585 F.Supp. 499 (S.D.Cal. 1984), Civ. 83-1654, Levanti v. Tippen
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • May 7, 1984
    ...that tribunal. See Simons v. Bellinger, 643 F.2d 774, 782-84 (D.C.Cir.1980) and cases cited therein at 779; Clark v. State of Washington, 366 F.2d 678, 681 (9th Defendants further argue that the same quasi-judicial immunity protects them from liability for the promulgation of the phased gra......
  • 793 F.2d 149 (7th Cir. 1986), 85-1544, McMillan v. Svetanoff
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 10, 1986
    ...a judicial nature. See id., 106 S.Ct. at 1097; Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 96 S.Ct. 984, 47 L.Ed.2d 128 (1976); Clark v. Washington, 366 F.2d 678 (9th Cir.1966). Accordingly, only in the most extraordinary cases are executives shielded from damages liability. See Cleavinger v. Saxner,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results