Friday, October 18, 2013
Courts - "Supreme Court suspends former AG Phill Kline's Kansas law license: Disciplinary Administrator had argued for disbarment"
Fascinating. Thanks to this post from How Appealing, the ILB has learned that the former Attorney of General of Kansas has had his law license indefinitely suspended. The AP story today by John Milburn begins:
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Supreme Court indefinitely suspended the law license of former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline on Friday following allegations of ethical misconduct during his investigation of abortion providers.If this sounds familiar, there is an Indiana connection. Both Kansas and Indiana were in the national news in 2005 for their efforts to obtain medical records of patients seeking reproductive care. See this ILB post from March 24, 2005, headed " Local dispute over patient records makes national news" and this one from Feb. 3, 2006, headed "Kansas Supreme Court rules in favor of privacy of abortion patients" that began:
The court agreed with a state disciplinary panel that Kline repeatedly misled or allowed subordinates to mislead others, including a Kansas City-area grand jury, to further his investigations. The unanimous decision comes after repeated disputes between the Republican and his critics over his tactics.
Justices said in their ruling that Kline committed "significant and numerous" violations as an attorney while pursuing prosecutions as attorney general and district attorney in Johnson County. * * *
In 2007, Kline filed 107 criminal charges against a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Kansas City suburbs, accusing it of performing illegal abortions and falsifying records. The last of those charges were dropped in August 2012. He also pursued misdemeanor criminal charges against Dr. George Tiller because of late-term abortions performed by his Wichita clinic. The case was dismissed for jurisdictional reasons.
A decision today by the Kansas Supreme Court today may have repercussions in Indiana also. Recall that last spring both the Attorney General of Kansas and Indiana's Attorney General made national news over their efforts to obtain medical records from abortion clinics.On Sept. 22, 2006, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled against Attorney General Carter in a similar Planned Parenthood records case.
From a story in the Topeka Capital Journal headed "Supreme Court suspends Kline's Kansas law license: Disciplinary Administrator had argued for disbarment"":
The court found that Kline committed professional misconduct as Attorney General when he ordered staff members to attach sealed documents to a publicly filed brief in violation of a Supreme Court protective order. Kline later directed his staff to file misleading information in a court pleading, the Supreme Court ruled.Here is the Kansas Supreme Court's 154-page disciplinary ruling.
The court also said Kline, while Johnson County District Attorney, provided false information to a district court judge investigating how his office obtained confidential patient medical records during a criminal investigation of abortion providers. It said Kline also made misleading statements to the Supreme Court regarding his handling of those records.
The Supreme Court also found that Kline failed to properly advise a grand jury about applicable law in its investigation of whether abortion providers had engaged in sexual abuse in treating minor patients. Kline also filed unauthorized motions to enforce the grand jury’s subpoena to an abortion provider against the specific directions of the grand jury, the Court ruled.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 18, 2013 11:50 AM
Posted to Courts in general