Brotherton, Justice, dissenting:
I dissent to the majority opinion for a number of
The Committee on Legal Ethics of the West Virginia State
Bar recommended on two separate occasions that John L. Boettner,
Jr.'s license to practice law be annulled as a result of his guilty
plea to a felony in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of West Virginia.See footnote 1
In the first hearing, The Committee on Legal Ethics of
the West Virginia State Bar v. Boettner, 183 W.Va. 136, 394 S.E.2d
735 (1990), this Court remanded the case to the State Legal Ethics
Committee for a mitigation hearing. I dissented to the remand for
a mitigation hearing in Boettner, supra, and I also dissented to
the mitigation standards which were established in The Committee on
Legal Ethics of the West Virginia State Bar v. Craig, ___ W.Va.
___, 415 S.E.2d 255 (1992).
The guidelines established in the Boettner remand and the
mitigation standards established in the Craig case resulted in the
Legal Ethics Committee's second recommendation that Boettner's law
license be annulled. However, after a review of the recommendation
and the mitigation record, a majority of this Court reduced the
recommended annulment to a three-year suspension. I cite my
previous dissents in Boettner and Craig as the reason for my
dissent in this case.
This case appears to continue to uphold the new standard adopted by a majority of this Court, that of holding lawyers to a standard of mediocrity rather than a standard of excellence.
Footnote: 1As part of his plea agreement, two other charges against Boettner which had been investigated by the United States Attorney were not pursued.