In re Edwards, 4980a

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtBUDGE, J.
Citation45 Idaho 676,266 P. 665
PartiesIn re C. H. EDWARDS
Docket Number4980a
Decision Date03 March 1928

266 P. 665

45 Idaho 676

In re C. H. EDWARDS

No. 4980a

Supreme Court of Idaho

March 3, 1928


[266 P. 666]

On petition of C. H. Edwards for review of disbarment proceedings before the Board of Commissioners of the Idaho State Bar. Proceeding dismissed.

Proceeding dismissed, with directions.

S. L. Tipton, for Petitioner.

The said chapters of law violate the provisions of Const., sec. 13, art. 1, in this, that said law denies to the petitioner herein due process of law. (Abrams v. Jones, 35 Idaho 532, 207 P. 724; May v. District Court, 34 Idaho 205, 200 P. 115; Grand v. Stahl, 11 A. L. R. 185, note; In re Cameron, 126 Tenn. 614, 151 S.W. 64-67.)

The said chapters of law violate Const., sec. 1, art. 2, in this, that said laws delegate to the supreme court legislative power and also said laws delegate to the board of commissioners of the Idaho State Bar both legislative and judicial powers. (Speere v. Stephenson, 16 Idaho 707, 102 P. 365; State v. Nelson, 36 Idaho 713, 720, 213 P. 358; Idaho Power & Light Co. v. Blomquist, 26 Idaho 222, Ann. Cas. 1916E, 282, 141 P. 1083.)

The said chapters of law violate Const., sec. 16, art. 3, in this, that the subject is not embraced in the title of the act, and said acts, and each of them, embrace more than one subject, except chap. 89, Sess. Laws 1925, p. 124, which said chapter has no subject embraced in the title as required by the constitution. (Jackson v. Gallet, 39 Idaho 382, 228 P. 1068; Turner v. Coffin, 9 Idaho 338, 74 P. 962, and cases there cited; Hailey v. State Historical Soc., 25 Idaho 165, 136 P. 212; Cohn v. Kingsley, 5 Idaho 416, 49 P. 985, 38 L. R. A. 74; Pioneer Irr. District v. Bradley, 8 Idaho 310, 68 P. 295; Rader v. Township of Union County, 39 N. J. 509; State v. Bailey, 157 Ind. 326, 61 N.E. 730, 59 L. R. A. 435; Clark v. Wallace Co., 54 Kan. 634, 39 P. 225.)

The said chapters of law violate Const., sec. 19, art. 3, and Const., sec. 2, art. 11, in this, that said law creates a corporation by special act of the legislature; and particularly does Sess. Laws 1925, chaps. 89 and 90, violate Const., sec. 2, art. 11, in that said two chapters do amend, or attempt to amend, by special law, the charter of a corporation, which charter and corporation were created by special act of the legislature known as Sess. Laws 1923, chap. 211. (Const., sec. 16, art. 11, defining "Corporations"; Jackson v. Gallet, supra; Spotswood v. Morris, 12 Idaho 360, 85 P. 1094, 6 L. R. A., N. S., 665; State v. Cosgrove, 36 Idaho 278, 210 P. 393.)

The said chapters of law violate the provisions of Const., sec. 2, art. 5, in this, that they create a court other than those provided for in said Const., sec. 2, art. 5.

"Court" is defined as "a place where justice is judiciously administered." Also it is defined as "a tribunal charged, as a substantive duty, with the exercise of judicial power." (See "Courts," 2 Words and Phrases, p. 1672; State v. Stephenson, 16 Idaho 707, 102 P. 365.)

The said chapters of law violate Const., sec. 13, art. 5, in that said law provides a method of procedure in the supreme court and deprives the supreme court of its jurisdiction and powers. (State v. Noble, 118 Ind. 350, 10 Am. St. 143, 21 N.E. 244, 4 L. R. A. 101, 106.)

Said law is void in that it takes private funds and appropriates the same to private use. (State v. Cosgrove, supra; Spotswood v. Morris, supra.)

James F. Ailshie, Jr., and E. J. Frawley, for Prosecuting Committee of Idaho State Bar.

A court authorized to admit an attorney has inherent jurisdiction to suspend or disbar him for sufficient cause, and such jurisdiction does not necessarily depend upon any express constitutional provision or statutory enactment. (6 C. J., 580, 581, par. 37; In re Lambuth, 18 Wash. 478, 51 P. 1071; In re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 172 P. 1152; In re Mills, 104 Wash. 278, 176 P. 556; In re Ward, 106 Wash. 147, 179 P. 76; McVicar v. State Board of Law Examiners, 6 F.2d 33; In re Chapelle, 71 Cal.App. 129, 234 P. 906.)

The method of pleading and practice in a proceeding to disbar an attorney is not controlled by the same rules, in every respect, that prevail in ordinary common-law actions. Such a proceeding is special and of a summary character and the court will look to the substance of the charge rather than to the technical accuracy with which it is presented. (Bar Assn. of City of Boston v. Scott, 209 Mass. 200, 95 Am. Dec. 342, note; 95 N.E. 402; State v. Maxwell, 19 Fla. 31; Rule 43, Rules of Board of Commissioners of the Idaho State Bar; State ex rel. Grievance Committee v. Woerndle, 109 Ore. 461, 209 P. 604, 220 P. 744; State v. Greenfield, 93 Ore. 407, 162 P. 858.)

If one provision of an enactment is invalid and the others valid, the latter are not affected by the void provision, unless they are plainly dependent upon each other and so inseparably connected that they cannot be divided without defeating the object of the act. (Knight v. Trigg, 16 Idaho 256, 100 P. 1060; Gillesby v. Board of Commrs., 17 Idaho 586, 107 P. 71; State v. Bird, 29 Idaho 47, 156 P. 1140.)

The legislature may provide an intermediary agency whereby the power of the court in disbarment proceedings can be more generally and efficiently exercised. (In re Bruen, supra; In re Mills, supra; In re Ward, supra; McVicar v. State Board of Law Examiners, supra; In re Chapelle, supra; In re Ellis, 118 Wash. 484, 203 P. 957.)

The Idaho State Bar and the board of commissioners thereof organized by these acts constitute only an administrative arm of the supreme court exercising certain quasijudicial functions but possessing no judicial power, that power, by the express terms of the act, being reserved in its constitutional repository, the supreme court of Idaho. This arm is in no sense of the word a corporation. (In re Bruen, supra; In re Mills, supra; In re Ward, supra; McVicar v. State Board of Law Examiners, supra; In re Chapelle, supra; chap. 211, 1923 Sess. Laws, sec. 8; In re Winthrop, 135 Wash. 135, 237 P. 3.)

BUDGE, J. Wm. E. Lee, C. J., Givens, T. Bailey Lee, JJ., and Taylor concur. TAYLOR, J., Dissenting.

OPINION [266 P. 667]

[45 Idaho 682] BUDGE, J.

On or about June 25, 1926, the board of commissioners of the Idaho State Bar appointed a committee to investigate the professional conduct of C. H. Edwards, an attorney of this court. Pursuant to such appointment, the committee proceeded to investigate certain charges lodged against said attorney. Witnesses were called and examined in support of, and in opposition to, the charges so filed. At the conclusion of the hearing, said committee made a report in writing to the board of commissioners. Thereafter, on or about August 16, 1926, the board made an order directing that Edwards be proceeded against for such alleged unprofessional conduct as was disclosed in the report of the investigating committee, whereupon a trial committee was appointed and a formal complaint lodged. In the formal complaint, Edwards was charged with conspiracy to [45 Idaho 683] extort money, and with divulging secrets of his client, one Whitney, without the latter's knowledge or consent. To the formal complaint Edwards filed his answer. A hearing was duly had before the trial committee. Thereafter, the committee made findings of fact and conclusions, in which it found that Edwards was not guilty either of conspiracy or of divulging secrets of his client without the knowledge or consent of the latter, as alleged in the formal complaint, but recommended that Edwards be suspended from the practice for one year, the recommendation of suspension being based upon certain letters written by Edwards and introduced upon the hearing in support of the charges of conspiracy contained in the formal complaint. The board of commissioners reviewed the findings, conclusions and recommendation of the trial committee and modified and enlarged the same, in that the board found, first that Edwards was guilty of conspiracy; second, that he was guilty of giving away the secrets of his client without his client's knowledge or [266 P. 668] consent; and, third, that he was guilty of writing certain letters, "and that whether the writing thereof was misconduct on his part as an attorney and counsellor was in issue . . . . the letters written by Edwards show such a lack of propriety and regard for professional ethics as would bring into disrespect the courts of justice and judicial officers of the state of Idaho and constitute a violation of the rules of the Idaho state bar," and entered its judgment, subject to the approval of the supreme court, suspending Edwards from the practice of law within this state for a period of one year, the order of suspension to become effective upon the approval by the supreme court of the judgment of suspension so entered.

Within thirty days after the entry of the judgment of suspension, Edwards duly filed a petition in this court asking that the proceedings of the commissioners be reviewed and that the same be disapproved; that the order of suspension be vacated; that the findings and conclusions of the commissioners be stricken from the files; and for such other [45 Idaho 684] and further relief as to the court might seem just and proper.

These proceedings are here for review and by virtue of Sess. Laws 1923, chap. 211, p. 343, and the amendments thereto as contained in Sess. Laws 1925, chaps. 89 and 90, pp. 124, 128.

Numerous assignments of error are made by petitioner attacking the constitutionality of the provisions of the foregoing statutes. It is insisted that they contravene art. 3, sec. 19, and art. 11, sec. 2, of the constitution of this state.

Art. 3, sec. 19, reads in part as follows:

"The legislature shall not pass local or special laws in any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say: . . . .

"Creating any corporation."

Art. 11, sec. 2 provides in part:

"No charter of incorporation shall be granted,...

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42 practice notes
  • Garrett Transfer & Storage Company v. Pfost, 6031
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • November 3, 1933
    ...28 Idaho 599, 155 P. 296, L. R. A. 1916D, 573; Burt v. Farmers' Co-operative Irr. Co., Ltd., 30 Idaho 752, 168 P. 1078; In re Edwards, 45 Idaho 676, 266 P. 665; Williams v. Baldridge, 48 Idaho 618, 284 P. 203.) Thus modified the judgment is affirmed. No costs allowed on the rehearing. Budge......
  • Eberle v. Nielson, No. 8541
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 13, 1957
    ...v. Salmon River Canal Co., Ltd., 45 Idaho 244, 263 P. 32; Packard v. O'Neil, 45 Idaho 427, 262 P. 881, 56 A.L.R. 317; In re Edwards, 45 Idaho 676, 266 P. 665; Chambers v. McCollum, 47 Idaho 74, 272 P. 707; City of Idaho Falls v. Pfost, 53 Idaho 247, 23 P.2d 245; State ex rel. Graham v. Enki......
  • State v. Kouni, 6434
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 12, 1938
    ...of its findings, conclusions and recommendations in the supreme court, where a still further hearing is provided for." (In re Edwards, 45 Idaho 676, 266 P. 665, at 689, 690.) Since the Abrams case, supra, this court has approved a situation similar with the case at bar in Chambers v. McColl......
  • Application of Kaufman, 7528
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • May 16, 1949
    ...of attorneys to practice is not the exercise of the mere ministerial power, but is the exercise of judicial power. In re Edwards, 45 Idaho 676, 266 P. 665. Although the Legislature, under its police power, and in order that public interests may be protected, may impose minimum standards, su......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
42 cases
  • Garrett Transfer & Storage Company v. Pfost, 6031
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • November 3, 1933
    ...28 Idaho 599, 155 P. 296, L. R. A. 1916D, 573; Burt v. Farmers' Co-operative Irr. Co., Ltd., 30 Idaho 752, 168 P. 1078; In re Edwards, 45 Idaho 676, 266 P. 665; Williams v. Baldridge, 48 Idaho 618, 284 P. 203.) Thus modified the judgment is affirmed. No costs allowed on the rehearing. Budge......
  • Eberle v. Nielson, No. 8541
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 13, 1957
    ...v. Salmon River Canal Co., Ltd., 45 Idaho 244, 263 P. 32; Packard v. O'Neil, 45 Idaho 427, 262 P. 881, 56 A.L.R. 317; In re Edwards, 45 Idaho 676, 266 P. 665; Chambers v. McCollum, 47 Idaho 74, 272 P. 707; City of Idaho Falls v. Pfost, 53 Idaho 247, 23 P.2d 245; State ex rel. Graham v. Enki......
  • State v. Kouni, 6434
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 12, 1938
    ...of its findings, conclusions and recommendations in the supreme court, where a still further hearing is provided for." (In re Edwards, 45 Idaho 676, 266 P. 665, at 689, 690.) Since the Abrams case, supra, this court has approved a situation similar with the case at bar in Chambers v. McColl......
  • Application of Kaufman, 7528
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • May 16, 1949
    ...of attorneys to practice is not the exercise of the mere ministerial power, but is the exercise of judicial power. In re Edwards, 45 Idaho 676, 266 P. 665. Although the Legislature, under its police power, and in order that public interests may be protected, may impose minimum standards, su......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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