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No. 30559 _ Lawyer
Disciplinary Board v. L. Thomas Lakin, a member of the West Virginia State
Starcher, J., concurring, in part, and dissenting, in part:
Governor Joe Manchin said West Virginia's Open for Business, I do
not think he meant that out-of-state lawyers were free to come into West Virginia
and attempt to steal the clients of our State lawyers while violating our Rules
of Professional Conduct. In this case the majority adopts the recommendations
of the Hearing Panel Subcommittee of the West Virginia Lawyer Disciplinary Board
in disciplining lawyer L. Thomas Lakin. I concur with the majority's decision
to prohibit Mr. Lakin, individually, from practicing law in this State for a
period of twelve months. However, I vigorously dissent to the empty sanctions placed
upon Mr. Lakin's law firm.
retired from the practice of law some time after the complaints that are the
subject of this case were brought against him. The sanctions levied against him
individually will not negatively affect him, or his Illinois firm's practice
of law. The record reflects that Mr. Lakin now lives in California, and the sanctions
against him do nothing to affect his firm's credibility and future endeavors.
majority states that the Lakin Law Firm must only follow the West Virginia Rules
of Professional Conduct. This is an empty sanction because the firm
is obligated to follow the rules of professional conduct simply because they
have placed the same sanctions on the Lakin Law Firm that this Court placed on
Mr. Lakin individually.
respect I dissent.