In re Bruen, 3.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtHOLCOMB, J.
Citation172 P. 1152,102 Wash. 472
PartiesIn re BRUEN.
Decision Date11 May 1918
Docket Number3.

172 P. 1152

102 Wash. 472

In re BRUEN.

No. 3.

Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc.

May 11, 1918


Petition to Review Ruling of Board of Law Examiners.

Proceedings before the Board of Law Examiners for the disbarment of James B. Bruen, an attorney at law. Order of disbarment, and Bruen petitions to review findings of the board. Petitioner's name ordered stricken from the roll of attorneys.

[102 Wash. 473] Walter Schaffner, of Seattle, for petitioner.

W. V. Tanner and Hance H. Cleland, both of Olympia, and Thomas F. Murphine, of Seattle, for respondent.

HOLCOMB, J.

This proceeding was instituted under the Laws of 1917, chapter 115. The complaint in disbarment by the chairman of the board of law examiners alleges that Bruen's 'conduct of the affairs of said Charlotte Isom constituted unprofessional conduct as an attorney at law and involved moral turpitude to such an extent that his right to practice his profession as an attorney at law in the state of Washington should be revoked.' The matter was brought on for hearing before the chairman of the board of law examiners, who heard the testimony at Seattle, Wash., in October, 1917. [102 Wash. 474] After taking the testimony and hearing the argument in the matter, the full board of law examiners made findings to the effect that the charges against the attorney were true, and conclusions to the effect that his right to practice law had been forfeited; that he should be disbarred, and his name stricken from the roll of attorneys of this court and of the state of Washington. They thereupon made an order to that effect, which was filed in [172 P. 1153] this court under the provisions of rule 21 of this court. Within 30 days after th filing of the report and findings, Bruen filed his petition to review the findings of the board of law examiners.

In limine he contends that the act of 1917, in so far as it seeks to delegate to the board of law examiners the function of hearing and determining the question of his fitness to continue in the practice of the law is unconstitutional as an encroachment upon the judicial powers conferred by the Constitution upon the courts. Several briefs and arguments have been filed by amici curiae, all of which take the same position as to the constitutionality of the law, except that of Mr. Rummens. The principal propositions advanced to defeat the law are: (1) That it attempts to confer upon the state board of law examiners judicial powers and functions which can only be exercised by the courts provided for in the Constitution. (2) That it violates section 6 of article 4 of the Constitution, which provides that the superior court shall have original jurisdiction in all cases and of all proceedings in which jurisdiction shall not have been by law vested in some other court. (3) That it violates the fundamental principles and purposes of the state Constitution, and particularly articles 1, 2, and 4 thereof, which provided for the three separate and distinct branches of government, because the act provides that the board shall exercise administrative,[102 Wash. 475] legislative, and judicial powers and functions in the same matter or proceeding. (4) That the act violates section 3 of article 1 of the state Constitution and the fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, in that it deprives persons of their liberty and property without due process of law. (5) That it violates section 12 of article 1 of the state Constitution and the fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, in that (a) it constitutes class legislation; (b) abridges privileges and immunities of the citizens of the United States; (c) denies to persons within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington the equal protection of the laws. (6) That it violates section 8 of article 6 and section 7 of article 27 of the state Constitution, which require that all state officers be elected by the people.

It is apparent that the act was modeled after the legislation providing for the regulation and forfeiture of licenses of physicians and surgeons, which was sustained in State Board of Medical Examiners v. Jordan, 92 Wash. 234, 158 P. 982, and State Board of Medical Examiners v. Macy, 92 Wash. 614, 159 P. 801. Similar legislation regulating certain professions has been sustained in regard to dentists ( State v. Brown, 37 Wash. 97, 79 P. 635, 68 L. R. A. 889, 107 Am. St. Rep. 798) and school-teachers ( Van Dyke v. School District, 43 Wash. 235, 86 P. 402). We have held, in Re Lambuth, 18 Wash. 478, 51 P. 1071, that the power to strike from the rolls an attorney is inherent in the court itself; that no statute or rule is necessary to authorize punishment in proper cases; that statutes and rules may regulate the power, but they do not create it; that this power is necessary for the protection of the court, the proper administration of justice, the dignity and purity of the profession, and for the public good and the protection of clients; that attorneys may forfeit their professional franchise by abusing it, and [102 Wash. 476] the power to exact the...

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75 practice notes
  • Clark v. Austin, No. 34481.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 8, 1937
    ...a protective power. [15 C.J., sec. 30, p. 732; Words and Phrases, First, Second and Fourth Series, "Inherent Power;" In re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 476, 172 Pac. 1152; In re Woolley, 74 Ky. 95, 111; Fuller v. State, 100 Miss. 811, 817, 57 So. 806, 807, 31 Ann. Cas. 98, 100, note, 39 L.R.A. (N.......
  • State Of Wis. v. Henley, No. 2008AP697-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 21, 2010
    ...been granted or not ... and the power to provide process where none exists.” Cannon, 196 Wis. at 536, 221 N.W. 603 (quoting In re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 172 P. 1152 (1918)). We have established that, even on its own motion, a circuit court has the inherent authority to grant a new trial when......
  • Eugster v. Wash. State Bar Ass'n, No. 34345-6-III
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • May 2, 2017
    ...P.2d 1097 (1940) ; In re Proceedings for Disbarment of Ward , 106 Wash. 147, 179 P. 76 (1919);In re Proceedings for Disbarment of Bruen , 102 Wash. 472, 172 P. 1152 (1918).¶54 Stephen Eugster does not contend that the WSBA has changed the disciplinary process since his suspension in 2009. T......
  • Saldin Securities, Inc. v. Snohomish County, No. 63940-0
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • January 8, 1998
    ...powers is the power to admit to practice, and necessarily therefrom the power to disbar from practice, attorneys at law. In re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 476, 172 P. 1152 (1918). Article IV, § 6 sets out and enumerates the powers of the superior courts. The court's inherent powers developed duri......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
75 cases
  • Clark v. Austin, No. 34481.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 8, 1937
    ...a protective power. [15 C.J., sec. 30, p. 732; Words and Phrases, First, Second and Fourth Series, "Inherent Power;" In re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 476, 172 Pac. 1152; In re Woolley, 74 Ky. 95, 111; Fuller v. State, 100 Miss. 811, 817, 57 So. 806, 807, 31 Ann. Cas. 98, 100, note, 39 L.R.A. (N.......
  • State Of Wis. v. Henley, No. 2008AP697-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 21, 2010
    ...been granted or not ... and the power to provide process where none exists.” Cannon, 196 Wis. at 536, 221 N.W. 603 (quoting In re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 172 P. 1152 (1918)). We have established that, even on its own motion, a circuit court has the inherent authority to grant a new trial when......
  • Eugster v. Wash. State Bar Ass'n, No. 34345-6-III
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • May 2, 2017
    ...P.2d 1097 (1940) ; In re Proceedings for Disbarment of Ward , 106 Wash. 147, 179 P. 76 (1919);In re Proceedings for Disbarment of Bruen , 102 Wash. 472, 172 P. 1152 (1918).¶54 Stephen Eugster does not contend that the WSBA has changed the disciplinary process since his suspension in 2009. T......
  • Saldin Securities, Inc. v. Snohomish County, No. 63940-0
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • January 8, 1998
    ...powers is the power to admit to practice, and necessarily therefrom the power to disbar from practice, attorneys at law. In re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 476, 172 P. 1152 (1918). Article IV, § 6 sets out and enumerates the powers of the superior courts. The court's inherent powers developed duri......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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