In re Bruener, 1366.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtMAIN, Justice. MITCHELL, Justice.
Citation178 Wash. 165,34 P.2d 437
Decision Date09 July 1934
Docket Number1366.
PartiesIn re BRUENER.

34 P.2d 437

178 Wash. 165

In re BRUENER.

No. 1366.

Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc.

July 9, 1934


Petition by Theodore B. Bruener, a disbarred attorney, for reinstatement.

Petition granted.

MAIN, Justice.

This case is here on the petition of Theodore B. Bruener, a disbarred attorney, asking to be restored to the privilege of practicing law in this state.

The petitioner was disbarred December 11, 1930. In re Bruener, 159 Wash. 504, 294 P. 254. December 1, 1932, he petitioned this court for reinstatement, and the matter was referred to the then board of law examiners, two of which board, after a hearing, recommended his reinstatement and one member dissented [178 Wash. 166] therefrom. The matter was here heard upon the report of the board, and February 6, 1933, the petition was denied. March 9, 1934, a petition was filed Before the board of governors of the state bar association (chapter 94, p. 397, Laws 1933), asking reinstatement. The board heard the matter, and on April 14, 1934, denied the same.

In the motion, which was supported by all the members of the board, with the exception of the president thereof, no reason is given, but simply a general recommendation that the application for reinstatement be denied. The president of the board, who had previously represented the petitioner, took no part in the proceedings Before the board. The board of governors transmitted a copy of the proceedings to this court, and the matter came regularly on for hearing.

Upon the hearing, one member of the board appeared in opposition to the granting of the petition, and stated, if we correctly gathered his thought, that the action of the board was, at least in part, based upon the assumption that to grant the petition would, in effect, be overruling the action of this court in denying the previous petition. In so far as the action of the board was based upon this [34 P.2d 438] assumption, if it was so based in any particular, this was a mistaken view. When an application for reinstatement is made by a disbarred attorney, it should be considered on its merits. This court, in a number of cases wherein the attorney had been disbarred and an application for reinstatement had been made and denied, has granted a subsequent application. One of the cases is that of Richard Gowan, who was disbarred November 19, 1918. In re Gowan, 104 Wash. 166, 176 P. 7. Subsequently, an application for reinstatement was made and denied January 5, 1927. In re Gowan, 141 Wash. 523, 251 [178 Wash. 167] P. 773. Another application was made, which was granted January 31, 1928.

In so far as we are informed, no court has held that an order of disbarment or an order denying an application for reinstatement is res judicata and forecloses any further consideration on the merits. We do not understand that it is contended otherwise, so far as the action of the court is concerned. When an application by a disbarred attorney for reinstatement is made, the question is whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to practice law. In determining this question, the court will take into consideration the applicant's character and standing in the community in which he resided prior to the disbarment, the ethical standards which he observed in the practice of law, the nature and character of the charge for which he was disbarred, his conduct subsequent to the disbarment, and the time that has elapsed between the disbarment and the application for reinstatement. 2 R. C. L. 1113; 6 C.J. 615; In re Mash, 39 Cal.App. 548, 179 P. 897; Kepler v. State Bar, 216 Cal. 52, 13 P.2d 509; State ex rel. Spillman v. Priest, 123 Neb. 241, 242 N.W. 433; In re Simpson, 11 N.D. 526, 93 N.W. 918.

In the present case, the petitioner, prior to his disbarment, had lived and practiced law in one community for twenty years or more, and during all that time was a man of good standing in the community and respected by those who knew him. His ethical standards were high in that profession, and at no time was his conduct as a lawyer ever questioned. Subsequent to the disbarment, he has meticulously observed the order of the court, and, as appears from the record in this case, has retained his standing in the community where he has continuously resided. [178 Wash. 168] We recognize that the charge which resulted in the disbarment of the petitioner was a grave one, and we in no sense here minimize it. If the petitioner, however, is reinstated, nothing can be more certain...

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11 practice notes
  • Disciplinary Proceeding Against Rosellini, Matter of, No. 4974
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 2, 1987
    ...of the misconduct in itself should not preclude reinstatement if the attorney can establish he has rehabilitated himself. In re Bruener, 178 Wash. 165, 167, 34 P.2d 437 (1934). It is almost universally recognized by other jurisdictions that disbarment is not a permanent disability. Annot., ......
  • Reinstatement of Walgren, Matter of, No. C
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • October 17, 1985
    ...after disbarment); In re Lillions, 196 Wash. 272, 82 P.2d 571 (1938) (reinstatement 4 years after disbarment); In re Page 567 Bruener, 178 Wash. 165, 34 P.2d 437 (1934) (reinstatement 4 years after Furthermore, there are several non-Washington cases involving crimes committed by an attorney......
  • Braverman, In re
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • March 1, 1974
    ...on Attorneys at Law, sec. 902; Walker v. Commonwealth, 71 Ky. 86, 8 Bush 86; In re Snodgrass, 166 Okl. 156, 26 P.2d 756; In re Bruener, 178 Wash. 165, 34 P.2d 437; Burns v. State, Tex.Civ.App., 76 S.W.2d 172; In re Egan, 52 S.D. 394, 218 N.W. 1; In re O'Connell, 199 Cal. Page 221 538, 250 P......
  • State ex rel. Florida Bar v. Murrell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 30, 1954
    ...of California, 209 Cal. 677, 289 P. 818; In re L. R., 7 N.J. 390, 81 A.2d 725; In re Gill, 104 Wash. 160, 176 P. 11 and In re Bruener, 178 Wash. 165, 34 P.2d 437; United States v. Costen, C.C., 38 F. 24; People ex rel. v. McCallum, 341 Ill. 578, 173 N.E. 827; Dorsey v. Kingland, 84 U.S.App.......
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11 cases
  • Disciplinary Proceeding Against Rosellini, Matter of, No. 4974
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 2, 1987
    ...of the misconduct in itself should not preclude reinstatement if the attorney can establish he has rehabilitated himself. In re Bruener, 178 Wash. 165, 167, 34 P.2d 437 (1934). It is almost universally recognized by other jurisdictions that disbarment is not a permanent disability. Annot., ......
  • Reinstatement of Walgren, Matter of, No. C
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • October 17, 1985
    ...after disbarment); In re Lillions, 196 Wash. 272, 82 P.2d 571 (1938) (reinstatement 4 years after disbarment); In re Page 567 Bruener, 178 Wash. 165, 34 P.2d 437 (1934) (reinstatement 4 years after Furthermore, there are several non-Washington cases involving crimes committed by an attorney......
  • Braverman, In re
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • March 1, 1974
    ...on Attorneys at Law, sec. 902; Walker v. Commonwealth, 71 Ky. 86, 8 Bush 86; In re Snodgrass, 166 Okl. 156, 26 P.2d 756; In re Bruener, 178 Wash. 165, 34 P.2d 437; Burns v. State, Tex.Civ.App., 76 S.W.2d 172; In re Egan, 52 S.D. 394, 218 N.W. 1; In re O'Connell, 199 Cal. Page 221 538, 250 P......
  • State ex rel. Florida Bar v. Murrell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 30, 1954
    ...of California, 209 Cal. 677, 289 P. 818; In re L. R., 7 N.J. 390, 81 A.2d 725; In re Gill, 104 Wash. 160, 176 P. 11 and In re Bruener, 178 Wash. 165, 34 P.2d 437; United States v. Costen, C.C., 38 F. 24; People ex rel. v. McCallum, 341 Ill. 578, 173 N.E. 827; Dorsey v. Kingland, 84 U.S.App.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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