Fairfield County Bar v. Taylor

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Writing for the CourtANDREWS, C. J.
Citation22 A. 441,60 Conn. 11
Decision Date07 January 1891
22 A. 441
60 Conn. 11


Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut.

Jan. 7, 1891.

Appeal from superior court, Fairfield county; Fen. J. Judge.

Proceedings by a committee of the Fairfield county bar against Howard W. Taylor to disbar him from practice. Judgment of absolute disbarment, and he appeals. Affirmed.

H. S. Sanford, for appellant.

S. Fessenden, G. W. Wheeler, and J. C. Chamberlain, for appellees.

ANDREWS, C. J. The appellant was an attorney at law residing in Danbury, and practicing in Fairfield county. He was displaced from being an attorney by an order of the superior court in that county made on the 13th day of May, 1800. From that order he has appealed to this court. Section 784 of the General Statutes provides as follows: "The superior court may admit and cause to be sworn as attorneys such persons as are qualified therefor, agreeably to the rules established by the judges of said court; and no other person than an attorney so admitted snail plead at the bar of any court in this state, except in his own cause; and said judges may establish rules relative to the admission, qualifications, practice, and removal of attorneys." Section 785 provides that "attorneys admitted by the superior court shall be attorneys of all courts, and shall be subject to the rules and orders of the courts before which they act, which may fine them for transgressing any such rule or order, not exceeding one hundred dollars for any offense, and may suspend or displace them for just cause. "As is seen from these sections, the superior court alone has power to admit persons to be attorneys at law, and the persons so admitted are attorneys in all the courts of the state. Any other court than the superior court may fine an attorney for transgressing its rules, and doubtless has the power to forbid him from appearing before it; but only the superior court can make an order of total suspension or displacement. In the absence of specific provisions to the contrary, the power of removal is, from its nature, commensurate with the power of appointment. There is no statute authorizing an appeal from an order by the superior court suspending or displacing an attorney; nor, so far as we are able to learn, is there any usage permitting it. Such orders have been made many times in the superior court, and this is the first instance in which any attempt has been made to take an appeal from one of them to the court of errors. Such an order, although it is a judicial act, has in it so much that is of a discretionary nature as to suggest great difficulties in an appeal. It is a discretion, too, that ought to be exercised with great moderation and care. But sometimes it must be exercised, and no other tribunal can decide in a case of removal from the bar with the same measure of information as the court itself. A revising tribunal, if there be such a one, would feel the delicacy of interposing its authority, and do so only in a plain case. In this case all objection to the appeal is expressly-waived, and apparently with the approval of the judge of the superior court who made the order. We have therefore concluded to examine it.

The case is this: Certain attorneys practicing in Fairfield county, describing themselves to be a committee of the bar of that county, made a presentment to the superior court in that county, in the form of a complaint, therein charging the appellant with fraud and with other unprofessional conduct; and that he had been sued by Margaret and David Sprague, who claimed to have been his clients, and that in a matter concerning which they had asked and followed his professional advice he had defrauded them out of a large sum of money; that a trial had been had before the superior court in that county at a former session, and a judgment rendered in favor of the said Spragues to recover of the appellant the sum of $2,238.75 for such fraud. A copy of the entire record in that case, the complaint, pleadings, finding of facts, and judgment, was attached to and made a part of the presentment so made by them. Upon that presentment the superior court made an order of notice to the appellant, requiring him to appear on a day named to make answer thereto. On the day so named the appellant did appear with counsel, made an answer denying all the material allegations of the presentment,

22 A. 442

and was fully heard. At the hearing the attorneys who had preferred the charges appeared to prosecute them. They offered a duly-certified copy of the record, a copy of which had been set out in and made a part of their charges, and also the testimony of witnesses to prove the charges they had made, and also the truth of the things averred in the complaint of the said Daniel and Margaret Sprague. The appellant was also fully heard in his exculpation. All the evidence he offered was received...

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65 cases
  • Heiberger v. Clark
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 21 mars 1961
    ...42 A.2d 36; Rosenthal v. State Bar Examining Committee, supra; In re Durant, 80 Conn. 140, 148, 67 A. 497; Fairfield County Bar v. Taylor, 60 Conn. 11, 15, 22 A. 441, 13 L.R.A. 767. There are no adversary parties in the technical legal sense, although our reports contain cases which, in the......
  • In re Keenan
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 13 février 1943
    ...of the purity and dignity of the court by removing an unfit officer. As stated by Andrews, C.J., in Fairfield County Bar v. Taylor, 60 Conn. 11, 15, `[The proceedings are] an investigation by the court into the conduct of one of its own officers, not the trial of an action or suit.' In that......
  • Bartos v. United States District Court, 7561.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 17 mai 1927
    ...Ill. 299, 92 N. E. 857, 138 Am. St. Rep. 239; Ex parte Burr, 9 Wheat. 529, 6 L. Ed. 152; Fairfield County Bar ex rel. Fessenden v. Taylor, 60 Conn. 11, 22 A. 441, 13 L. R. A. 767; Pippin v. State, 197 Ala. 613, 73 So. 340; Black on Intoxicating Liquors, sec....
  • Scott v. State Bar Examining Committee, 14210
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 14 janvier 1992
    ...character is a necessary and proper qualification for admission to the bar. Fairfield County Bar v. Taylor,[220 Conn. 821] 0 Conn. 11, 17, 22 A. 441 [1891]; Grievance Committee v. Broder, 112 Conn. 263, 277, 152 A. 292 [1931]; note, 64 A.L.R.2d 301 [; Practice Book § 16(3) ]. In this state,......
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