Sarah Palin

Summoning Paul Harvey's Ghost

Sarah Palin has great taste in advisers:

JUNEAU -- The Alaska Supreme Court has suspended the law license of former U.S. Attorney Wevley Shea, finding "clear and convincing evidence" that he violated professional rules of conduct.

The high court on Wednesday adopted the recommendations of a disciplinary board, which called for Shea's Alaska license to be suspended for 25 months. The board also said Shea must demonstrate that he is "mentally fit" to return to practicing law before applying for reinstatement of his license.

And now... the rest... of the story.

Later, when Sarah Palin was governor, he helped draft ethics reform recommendations for her administration.

That's right. A guy who lost his law license because of conduct violations was Sarah Palin's ethics adviser.

And now you know... the rest of the story.

(via Johnny Cole)

  • Let me be clear: I am in no way defending lawyers in general (it is not the case that a few bad ones stain the many good, rather quite the reverse), or this particular counsel (the linked article certainly makes him seem a reprehensible douche), however it should be noted that there is no apparent connection between the actions for which Shea was suspended and his relationship with Caribou Barbie.

    Whatever the hell this guy did – the details are commonly lacking in favour of a more general description in such matters – it fell short of meriting disbarment. It would appear he was less than respectful towards some litigants and made some assertions that went beyond bending the facts and into the land of demonstrable falsehood. It should be noted that if every lawyer who behaved like an ass and hung their toes across the line of truth in court were suspended, the entire judicial system would grind to a total halt.

    Just sayin’.

    • cousinavi, I agree with your overall point. It usually takes quite a lot for an attorney to get disbarred (similar to doctors…the body trail has to be pretty long).

      However, your conclusion that whatever he did “fell short of meriting disbarment” doesn’t make sense. If they didn’t provide details, how do you know? Also, not to be a pain in the arse but (punny right?), I know for a fact that these kinds of bar decisions are often negotiated by members of the bar and the person being accused. The bar will often hold info back for various reasons and some of that info could be of things worse than what they publicly stated or worse than what they SAID they disbarred him for.

      I am not trying to prove or disprove a negative here, but I am saying, we just don’t really know. Experience has taught me that we should trust the bar because when they FINALLY get around to getting rid of somebody, the attorney usually deserves it.

      • Disbarment is usually the result of some pretty egregious shit: Suborning perjury, perpetrating a fraud on the court, felony criminal conviction, misappropriation of funds held in trust (in severe cases).
        The details in the present matter are scant but not absent. Shea apparently made some untrue representations to the court with regard to a litigant, ignored a conflict of interest related to previously having represented that litigant, and treated various parties to the action (as well as opposing counsel) in a manner that failed to achieve the requisite level of respect for the parties and the process.
        It most certainly is a matter of interpretation. Had he not been a former US Attorney / connected politically, he’d probably be looking to get on at the local taxi stand. It could well be a case of a slap on the wrist…and make no mistake, a two-year suspension is a pretty solid slap as slaps go.
        It does sound like he came awfully close to getting yanked permanently. You could be right – could have been some sweeping under the rug; lawyers protecting one of their own. I can’t imagine the Alaska bar being so populated that they don’t all know one another.
        Nevertheless, he wasn’t disbarred. That said, I most assuredly do not share your faith in bar societies. When they finally get around to disbarring someone, the damage is usually irreparable insofar as various and sundry third parties are concerned.

  • Wholly unsurprising…but makes me smile…