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Supreme Court disbars lawyer who blamed ADD for misconduct

Burlington Free Press

January 7, 2001

The Associated Press

MONTPELIER — A Cavendish lawyer who blamed attention deficit disorder for his alleged mishandling of clients’ money has been barred from practicing law in Vermont.

The state Supreme Court ordered lawyer Will Hunter disbarred Friday.

Hunter was convicted of mail fraud 2 years ago as a result of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. More than a year ago, the professional conduct board recommended that Hunter be barred from practicing law in Vermont.

Hunter was charged with using clients’ funds without their consent. In its decision to disbar Hunter, the high court pointed out that he had been disciplined in the past.

“We have … already imposed the maximum sanction short of disbarment for other conduct of respondent, and the misconduct here is more serious than that we have found in the past,” the court wrote.

The court also rejected Hunter’s argument that his problems stemmed from attention deficit disorder.

“As in respondent’s previous disciplinary proceeding, we concluded again that ADD does not explain respondent’s most egregious conduct: (1) loaning client funds to other clients without permission; (2) lying to clients, attorneys and a judge about client funds; and (3) using client funds to make loans and payments for his personal benefit,” the court found…

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Surely these behaviors must be present somewhere on the DSM-IV behavior
check list for ‘adult’ ADHD—attorneys. Surely he can sue under the Americans
with Disabilities Act.]

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