In the Matter of Lance M. Haley, Respondent.
PROCEEDING IN DISCIPLINE Original proceeding in discipline.
F. Baird, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator, argued the
cause, and Stanton A. Hazlett, Disciplinary Administrator,
was with her on the formal complaint for the petitioner.
M. Haley, respondent, argued the cause pro se.
an original proceeding in discipline filed by the office of
the Disciplinary Administrator against the respondent, Lance
M. Haley, of Kansas City, Missouri, an attorney admitted to
the practice of law in Kansas in 1991.
January 9, 2017, the office of the Disciplinary Administrator
filed a formal complaint against the respondent alleging
violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
(KRPC). The respondent filed an answer on February 15, 2017.
A hearing was held on the complaint before a panel of the
Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys on May 24, 2017,
where the respondent was personally present. The hearing
panel determined that respondent violated KRPC 1.3 (2017 Kan.
S.Ct. R. 290) (diligence), 3.2 (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 341)
(expediting litigation), 5.5(a) (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 361)
(unauthorized practice of law), 8.4(d) (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R.
379) (engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration
of justice), and 8.4(g) (engaging in conduct adversely
reflecting on lawyer's fitness to practice law).
conclusion of the hearing, the panel made the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law, together with its
recommendation to this court:
"11. In 1990, the Missouri Supreme Court admitted the
respondent to the practice of law in the state courts of
Missouri. The Kansas Supreme Court admitted the respondent to
the practice of law in the state courts of Kansas on October
4, 1991. The respondent was also licensed to practice law in
the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit,
the United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri, and the United States District Court for the
District of Kansas.
"12. In 2006, the respondent was appointed to represent
F.M. and R.L.A. In criminal appeals pending in the United
States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The
respondent failed to prosecute the two federal criminal
appeals. The Eighth Circuit Court issued an order for the
respondent to appear and show cause why he should not be
disciplined for failing to prosecute the two federal criminal
appeals. The respondent failed to respond to the order to
appear and show cause. On November 8, 2006, the Eighth
Circuit Court directed that the respondent's name be
stricken from the [roll] of attorneys admitted to practice
before the Eighth Circuit Court. (The respondent's
licenses to practice before the United States District Court
for the Western District of Missouri and the United States
District Court for the District of Kansas were also
"13. On January 17, 2007, the federal court amended its
order of disbarment to direct that the respondent's
license be suspended for a minimum of one year. The court
directed that any application for reinstatement be
accompanied by a written opinion from a mental health
provider that the respondent was able to effectively
discharge his professional responsibilities.
Following the federal court discipline, on January 30, 2007,
in a reciprocal case, the Missouri Supreme Court issued an
order suspending the respondent's license to practice law
in Missouri, for having violated Missouri Rules of
Professional Conduct 1.3, 3.2, and 8.4(d). The Missouri
Supreme Court directed that no application for reinstatement
would be entertained until the respondent was reinstated to
practice in the federal courts.
The respondent failed to comply with the annual requirements
to maintain his Kansas law license. As a result, on October
9, 2007, the Kansas Supreme Court issued an order suspending
the respondent's license to practice law in the state
courts of Kansas.
On April 18, 2008, the Eighth Circuit Court terminated the
suspension order. However, the respondent did not resume the
practice of law at that time.
In 2009, the respondent filed an application for
reinstatement in Missouri. Prior to the time the court ruled
on the respondent's application, in June 2012, the
respondent withdrew his application for reinstatement in
On May 3, 2013, the respondent informed the disciplinary
administrator of the suspensions of his federal license and
his Missouri license. The respondent indicated in the
correspondence that he had not been practicing law, but was
beginning the process of reinstatement. Even though the
respondent was not subject to a disciplinary suspension in
Kansas, a reinstatement questionnaire was provided to the
respondent in order to obtain information regarding what the
respondent had been doing since he last practiced law in
Prior to the respondent's May 3, 2013, letter, the
disciplinary administrator had not been made aware by the
respondent or the other licensing authorities that the
respondent had engaged in professional misconduct and his
other licenses to practice law had been suspended. At that
time, the disciplinary administrator considered the
respondent's correspondence as a self-report of the
misconduct which occurred in the Eighth Circuit Court of
In a letter dated June 17, 2013, to the disciplinary
administrator the respondent disclosed that he engaged in the
unauthorized practice of law by drafting a codicil to his
mother's will. There is no evidence that the codicil was
anything other than his mother's intent, however, the
codicil did benefit the respondent by shielding his future
inheritance from an outstanding tax obligation he had at that
time. Further, the respondent's family members understood
the purpose of the document. However, later, the codicil was
nullified in a Johnson County, Kansas, probate proceeding.
On July 29, 2013, the respondent returned the completed
reinstatement questionnaire to the disciplinary
On August 19, 2013, the respondent informed the disciplinary
administrator that he wished to withdraw his request for
reinstatement of his Kansas license. (As an aside, the
respondent had not taken the steps necessary to request
reinstatement of his license to practice law in Kansas. In
order to seek reinstatement, the respondent had to complete
continuing legal education hours, submit certain forms, and
Because the respondent had not been disciplined on a
reciprocal basis in Kansas for the professional misconduct
that occurred in the federal courts, the disciplinary
administrator proceeded with the investigation and continued
to correspond with the respondent.
In December, 2013, the respondent filed a second application
for reinstatement in Missouri.
On March 10, 2015, in a pleading filed with the Missouri
Supreme Court, Missouri bar counsel recommended that the
respondent's request for reinstatement be granted:
The reinstatement report was mailed to Applicant on February
19, 2015. Applicant responded in a letter received by OCDC on
March 5, 2015, stating he has no objection to the report. His
application is, then ready for decision by the Court.
Applicant has satisfied the minimum requirements set forth in
Rule 5.28. He obtained a passing score on the MPRE within the
timeframe set forth in the rule. The Missouri Bar Director of
Continuing Legal Education programs confirmed Applicant has
reported the requisite CLE credits. He has paid the
reinstatement fee and owes no disciplinary costs.
The Court's January 30, 2007, order requires that no
application for reinstatement will be considered by the Court
until Applicant is reinstated to practice in the United
States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which is the
court from which the disciplinary case originated. The
suspension of Applicant's privilege to practice in that
court was terminated by the Eighth Circuit's order,
issued in April [of] 2008. While the Eighth Circuit's
suspension was terminated by that court, Applicant is not
eligible for readmission to the Eighth Circuit until he is
admitted to, among other options, the highest court of a
state. See Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule
46(a). (FN Aside from admission to a state bar, an attorney
is eligible for admission to the bar of a court of appeals if
the attorney is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme
Court, another court of appeals, or a U.S. District Court.)
Thus, while Applicant's federal suspension is terminated,
he must be readmitted to a state court bar before he is
eligible to apply for readmission to the federal court. Under
these unique circumstances, the fact that Applicant is not
reinstated to practice before the Eighth Circuit should not
be an insurmountable impediment to his reinstatement to
Applicant's mental health was an issue addressed in the
Eighth Circuit's order of discipline. He was required to,
and did, supply that court with a written report from a
treating psychiatrist attesting to his ability to discharge
his professional obligations. Applicant has been forthcoming
about his mental health struggles in the course of staff
counsel's investigation in the instant reinstatement
case. At OCDC's request, Applicant provided letters from
his psychiatrist and treating psychologist attesting to his
ability to discharge his professional responsibilities and
the stability of his emotional and psychological state.
Applicant's first application for reinstatement was
withdrawn by him in large part because he was not compliant
with federal and state tax laws. He is currently compliant.
Applicant has established a long-term non-controversial work
history in the years since his 2006 suspension by the federal
court. He states that he has maintained proficiency in his
preferred area of practice, federal criminal defense work, by
attending CLEs and connections with former colleagues. He
professes eagerness to return to that area of practice in the
federal district court in western Missouri.'
On April 30, 2015, the Missouri Supreme Court granted the
respondent's application and reinstated his law license.
The court, however, placed the respondent on probation for
two years. The Missouri bar counsel informed the disciplinary
administrator that the respondent's license to practice
law in Missouri had been reinstated, subject to two
In order to rectify the administrative issues related to his
Kansas license, the respondent must comply with certain
a. At the time of the hearing, the respondent needed to
complete 120 hours of continuing legal education, with 20 of
those hours classified as ethics hours. Now, because another
registration period has passed, the respondent must complete
132 hours of continuing legal education, including 22 hours
of ethics. Further, the respondent must pay a fee of $220 to
the Kansas Continuing Legal Education Commission. At the time
of the hearing, the ...