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In re Quinn

Supreme Court of Kansas

November 21, 2018

In the Matter of Rosie M. Quinn, Respondent.

         ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN DISCIPLINE

          Penny R. Moylan, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator, argued the cause, and Alexandar M. Walczak, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator, was on the formal complaint for the petitioner.

          Rosie M. Quinn, respondent, argued the cause pro se.

          Per Curiam:

         This is an attorney discipline proceeding against Rosie M. Quinn, of Kansas City, Kansas. Respondent was admitted to practice law in the state of Kansas on May 15, 1981. Her license to practice law was temporarily suspended on October 5, 2011, due to felony convictions on tax-related charges in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

         On July 18, 2014, the Disciplinary Administrator's office filed a formal complaint against respondent alleging violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct (KRPC). Respondent initially failed to answer the formal complaint, but before a scheduled panel hearing she successfully moved to have her license transferred from temporary suspension to disability inactive status. These proceedings were stayed indefinitely. On April 11, 2017, respondent's license status changed back to temporary suspension because she had not obtained an ordered independent mental health evaluation. The disciplinary proceedings resumed, and the respondent answered the allegations of misconduct.

         A panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys held a hearing on November 28, 2017. Respondent appeared pro se. The hearing panel determined she violated KRPC 8.4(b) (2018 Kan. S.Ct. R. 381) (committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer).

         Before this court, the Disciplinary Administrator's office asked for an indefinite period of suspension made retroactive such that respondent would be eligible to apply for reinstatement immediately upon the filing of the court's decision, which also would trigger a required reinstatement hearing. Respondent expressed a preference not to be required to undergo a reinstatement hearing, so that she may immediately resume practicing law. We quote the report's pertinent parts below.

         "Findings of Fact

"3. For years, the respondent engaged in the private practice of law in
Kansas City, Kansas. The respondent was the sole proprietor of her law office. The respondent employed others at her law office. For an extended period of time, the respondent withheld federal employment taxes from her employees' paychecks, but did not pay over the withheld funds to the Internal Revenue Service (hereinafter 'the IRS'). In total, the respondent withheld but failed to forward more than $238, 000 in federal taxes to the IRS.
"4. In 2002 and 2003, while the respondent filed individual federal income tax returns, the respondent failed to pay her individual federal income taxes.
"5. On June 17, 2009, a federal grand jury, convened in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, returned a nine count indictment against the respondent including seven counts of violating 26 U.S.C. § 7202 (willful failure to pay employment taxes) and two counts of violating 26 U.S.C. § 7203 (willful failure to pay income taxes).
"6. After she was charged, the respondent paid the IRS the previously withheld but unpaid federal employment taxes. After the respondent paid the employment taxes, the grand jury returned a second indictment which reflected that the employment taxes were no longer owing. The criminal case proceeded to trial. On March 15, 2011, a jury convicted the respondent as charged.
"7. On June 21, 2011, the respondent self-reported the convictions. On October 5, 2011, the Kansas Supreme Court issued an order under Rule 203(c), temporarily suspending the respondent's license to practice law, due to her felony convictions. The respondent filed a motion to vacate the order of temporary suspension. On October 12, 2011, the Court denied the respondent's motion.
"8. On November 18, 2011, the federal court sentenced the respondent to a controlling sentence of 36 months in prison, 36 months post-release supervision, and restitution in the amount of $70, 118.34, for the interest which previously accumulated on the unpaid employment taxes, for the individual federal income taxes, and for the interest on the individual federal income taxes. On May 7, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the respondent's convictions and sentence. Following prison, the respondent went to a half-way house. After being released from the half-way house, the respondent returned home on post-release supervision. On August 5, 2017, the respondent was released from post-release supervision. While the respondent has been released from post-release supervision, she continues to owe and pay restitution.
"9. . . . On July 8, 2014, the hearing panel scheduled a hearing on the formal complaint for November 18, 2014.
"10. On July 18, 2014, Alexander M. Walczak, deputy disciplinary administrator, filed a formal complaint in the instant disciplinary case, alleging that the respondent violated [KRPC] 8.4(b), 8.4(c), and 8.4(d). That same day, Mr. Walczak filed a notice of hearing, confirming that a hearing on the formal complaint was scheduled for November 18, 2014. The respondent failed to file a timely answer to the formal complaint. On October 8, 2014, Mr. Walczak filed a supplement to the formal complaint, alleging that the respondent violated Rule 211(b) by failing to file an answer to the formal complaint.
"11. On October 28, 2014, Mr. Walczak filed a motion in limine, seeking an order prohibiting the respondent from attempting to impeach her criminal convictions by reopening or retrying the facts of her convictions, presenting evidence on her motives, and arguing a lack of fairness of procedural or evidentiary standards.
"12. On November 7, 2014, the respondent filed a motion to transfer her license to disability inactive status. The respondent attached a letter from her treating psychiatrist, dated November 6, 2014, as well as an evaluation from her treating psychiatrist, dated December 23, 2010. On November 10, 2014, the hearing panel filed a petition with the Court under Rule 220(b) seeking to have the respondent's license immediately transferred to disability inactive status. That same day, the hearing panel indefinitely continued the hearing on the formal complaint. On November 13, 2014, because of the sensitive nature of the contents of the motion and attachments, Mr. Walczak filed a motion seeking an order sealing the motion and attachments. Also, on November 13, 2014, Mr. Walczak filed a motion seeking an order for an independent mental health evaluation of the respondent to determine whether the respondent's license should remain transferred to disability inactive status.
"13. On November 20, 2014, the Court issued an order transferring the respondent's license to disability inactive status. The Court's order also directed the respondent to undergo an independent mental health evaluation within 90 days by one of two mental health professionals listed in the order. Finally, the Court ordered ...

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