In re Petition for Reinstatement Mose, No. A12–0380.

CourtSupreme Court of Minnesota (US)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
Citation843 N.W.2d 570
PartiesIn re Petition for REINSTATEMENT OF William G. MOSE, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 125659.
Decision Date12 March 2014
Docket NumberNo. A12–0380.

843 N.W.2d 570

In re Petition for REINSTATEMENT OF William G. MOSE, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 125659.

No. A12–0380.

Supreme Court of Minnesota.

March 12, 2014.


[843 N.W.2d 572]



Syllabus by the Court

A suspended attorney who fails to comply with the conditions for reinstatement, fails to prove that he has undergone the requisite moral change, and fails to establish that he has the intellectual competence to practice law is not entitled to reinstatement.

Petition denied.


Edward F. Kautzer, Ruvelson & Kautzer, Ltd., Saint Paul, MN; and Daniel S. Kufus, Kufus Law, LLC, Saint Paul, MN, for petitioner.

Martin A. Cole, Director, Kevin T. Slator, Senior Assistant Director, Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, Saint Paul, MN, for respondent.


OPINION

PER CURIAM.

Petitioner William G. Mose, who has been suspended from the practice of law since 1990, filed his second petition for reinstatement in March 2012 alleging that he had undergone the requisite moral change and was fit to practice law. The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility assigned the matter to a three-member panel of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB). The panel conducted a hearing and later filed its findings, conclusions, and recommendation that the petition be denied. Mose ordered a transcript of the panel's hearing and the matter proceeded before this court. We adopt the panel's recommendation and deny the petition for reinstatement.

I.

Mose was admitted to the practice of law in Minnesota in 1980. He did not actually begin practicing law until 1984, when he opened a solo law practice in Edina. In 1986, he moved his law practice to the Pequot Lakes area near Brainerd, focusing primarily on family law. In 1989, Mose moved his practice back to the Twin Cities area.

In 1989, the Director filed a petition for disciplinary action against Mose for incompetence, client neglect, and failing to follow court orders. Mose stipulated that the misconduct occurred. We publicly reprimanded Mose and placed him on probation for two years. In re Mose ( Mose I ), 443 N.W.2d 191, 192 (Minn.1989). We also ordered him to complete a trial advocacy skills course and pay restitution to two former clients. Id.

In 1990, the Director petitioned the court to revoke Mose's probation because Mose had not attended a trial advocacy skills course or paid restitution to his two former clients. The Director also alleged that Mose had committed new acts of misconduct, including incompetence, failing to communicate with clients, and lying to clients, involving five other client matters. Subsequently, we revoked Mose's probation and indefinitely suspended him from the practice of law in Minnesota. In re Mose ( Mose II ), 458 N.W.2d 100, 100 (Minn.1990).

The Director filed a third petition for disciplinary action in 1991 alleging misconduct occurring before and after Mose's suspension consisting of incompetence, failure to communicate with clients, failure to account for or refund unearned retainer fees, and other misconduct involving eight more clients. Mose admitted that the misconduct had occurred. We indefinitely suspended Mose from the practice of law for a minimum of five years, effective from

[843 N.W.2d 573]

the date of his 1990 suspension. In re Mose ( Mose III ), 470 N.W.2d 109, 109 (Minn.1991). In Mose III, we conditioned Mose's potential reinstatement on, among other things, his “full compliance with the terms of this court's order” in Mose I.Id. at 110. Mose I, in turn, required Mose to “certify to the Director that he has successfully completed a four day or eight day course in trial advocacy skills at the Minnesota Advocacy Institute or an equivalent trial skills program approved by the Director.” Mose I, 443 N.W.2d at 192. As of Mose III, Mose's misconduct arose out of 19 complaints from 15 different clients.

In 2007, Mose filed a petition for reinstatement to the practice of law; the Director opposed the petition. A panel of the LPRB conducted an evidentiary hearing and recommended that the petition be denied. We concluded that Mose should not be reinstated to the practice of law because Mose failed to (1) satisfy several of the previous conditions of reinstatement, (2) prove that he had undergone the requisite moral change, and (3) prove that he is competent to practice law. In re Mose ( Mose IV ), 754 N.W.2d 357, 359 (Minn.2008).

Mose filed his second petition for reinstatement in 2012; again, the Director opposed the petition. A panel of the LPRB conducted an evidentiary hearing and recommended that the petition be denied for three principal reasons. First, the panel concluded that Mose did not comply with the reinstatement condition from Mose III that he complete a trial advocacy skills course. The panel rejected Mose's argument that a webcast and live lecture CLE course in litigation were reasonable substitutes to fulfill this requirement. Second, the panel concluded that Mose failed to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he had undergone a moral change. The panel found Mose had not made the changes necessary to avoid the repetition of his client neglect problems in the future and demonstrated little recognition of the harm he had caused his clients. Third, the panel found Mose had not proven by clear and convincing evidence that he possesses the intellectual competence to practice law.

II.

Mose argues to this court that the panel erred in recommending that the petition for reinstatement to practice law be denied. The procedure for reinstatement is set forth in Rule 18 of the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility (RLPR) and requires, among other things, that the Director investigate the petition and report his conclusions to a panel. Rule 18(b), RLPR. Thereafter, the panel may conduct a hearing and shall make its recommendation. Rule 18(c), RLPR. The panel conducted a hearing and recommended that the petition for reinstatement be denied. Because Mose ordered a transcript of the hearing, the panel's findings are not binding on this court. Mose IV, 754 N.W.2d 357, 360 (Minn.2008); see alsoRule 14(e), RLPR.

The responsibility for determining whether a suspended attorney will be reinstated rests with this court. In re Kadrie, 602 N.W.2d 868, 870 (Minn.1999). We independently review the entire record to determine whether a suspended attorney should be reinstated. In re Singer, 735 N.W.2d 698, 703 (Minn.2007). In a case such as this one when a transcript has been ordered, we will defer to the panel's credibility assessments and uphold the panel's factual findings if those determinations have factual support in the record and are not clearly erroneous. Mose IV, 754 N.W.2d at 360.

[843 N.W.2d 574]

Generally, the standard for determining whether a disbarred or suspended lawyer should be reinstated focuses on whether the attorney has demonstrated “by clear and convincing evidence that he [or she] has undergone a moral change such that clients can have complete confidence in his [or her] competence and morality.” In re Anderley, 696 N.W.2d 380, 384–85 (Minn.2005). Other relevant factors are: (1) compliance with the terms of the suspension order; (2) the attorney's recognition of the wrongfulness of his or her misconduct; (3) the length of time since...

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9 practice notes
  • In re Tigue, A19-1603
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • June 16, 2021
    ...underlying misconduct that led to the suspension," and c) "a renewed commitment to the ethical practice of law." In re Mose (Mose II) , 843 N.W.2d 570, 575 (Minn. 2014).The dissent asserts that this test is nebulous and slippery and, thus, difficult to apply. We disagree with the dissent's ......
  • In re Sand, A18-1795
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • December 16, 2020
    ...the underlying misconduct that led to the [discipline]," and (c) "a renewed commitment to the ethical practice of law." In re Mose , 843 N.W.2d 570, 575 (Minn. 2014). The evidence of this moral change "must come not only from an observed record of appropriate conduct, but from the petitione......
  • In re Severson, A17-0895
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • February 13, 2019
    ...the panel’s factual findings if those determinations have factual support in the record and are not clearly erroneous." In re Mose , 843 N.W.2d 570, 573 (Minn. 2014). To conclude that the findings are clearly erroneous, "we must be ‘left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake ......
  • In re Stockman, A15-0689
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • June 21, 2017
    ...case, we uphold the panel's factual findings if they have evidentiary support in the record and are not clearly erroneous. In re Mose , 843 N.W.2d 570, 573 (Minn. 2014). Factual findings are clearly erroneous if, after reviewing the record, we are " ‘left with the definite and firm convicti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • In re Tigue, A19-1603
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • June 16, 2021
    ...underlying misconduct that led to the suspension," and c) "a renewed commitment to the ethical practice of law." In re Mose (Mose II) , 843 N.W.2d 570, 575 (Minn. 2014).The dissent asserts that this test is nebulous and slippery and, thus, difficult to apply. We disagree with the dissent's ......
  • In re Sand, A18-1795
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • December 16, 2020
    ...the underlying misconduct that led to the [discipline]," and (c) "a renewed commitment to the ethical practice of law." In re Mose , 843 N.W.2d 570, 575 (Minn. 2014). The evidence of this moral change "must come not only from an observed record of appropriate conduct, but from the petitione......
  • In re Severson, A17-0895
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • February 13, 2019
    ...the panel’s factual findings if those determinations have factual support in the record and are not clearly erroneous." In re Mose , 843 N.W.2d 570, 573 (Minn. 2014). To conclude that the findings are clearly erroneous, "we must be ‘left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake ......
  • In re Stockman, A15-0689
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • June 21, 2017
    ...case, we uphold the panel's factual findings if they have evidentiary support in the record and are not clearly erroneous. In re Mose , 843 N.W.2d 570, 573 (Minn. 2014). Factual findings are clearly erroneous if, after reviewing the record, we are " ‘left with the definite and firm convicti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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