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IBC_Closing Argument Final12!19!11

IBC_Closing Argument Final12!19!11

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Published by: ray stern on Dec 19, 2011
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12/19/2011

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John S. GleasonJames S. SudlerKim E. IkelerAlan C. ObyeMarie E. NakagawaIndependent Bar CounselColorado Supreme CourtOffice of Attorney Regulation Counsel1560 Broadway, Suite 1800Denver, Colorado 80202(303) 866-6400
BEFORE THE PRESIDING DISCIPLINARY JUDGEOF THE STATE BAR OF ARIZONAIn the Matter of Members of theState Bar of Arizona,ANDREW P. THOMAS, Bar No. 014069,LISA M. AUBUCHON, Bar No. 013141, andRACHEL R. ALEXANDER, Bar No. 020092INDEPENDENT BAR COUNSEL’SCLOSING ARGUMENTCase No. PDJ 2011-9002
Independent Bar Counsel, John S. Gleason, acting by appointment of Rebecca White Berch,the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, as set forth in her Administrative Order No. 2010-41 entered March 23, 2010, respectfully submits his Closing Argument in this proceeding.
I.
 
INTRODUCTION
This case is a lawyer discipline matter brought pursuant to Arizona Supreme Court Rule 31against Andrew P. Thomas (“Thomas”), Lisa M. Aubuchon (“Aubuchon”) and Rachel R. Alexander(“Alexander”). Commencing on September 12, 2011, a hearing was held about the allegationsagainst the three lawyers. The hearing concluded November 2, 2011. The Presiding DisciplinaryJudge (“PDJ”) ordered Independent Bar Counsel to file a written closing argument by December 30,2011. Respondents have until January 15, 2012 to file responses, after which IBC has until January31, 2012 to file a reply.
 
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IBC is filing contemporaneously with this Closing Argument a Proposed Report and OrderImposing Sanctions (“Report”). IBC has composed that document as a Report that the HearingPanel may adopt in total or in part if it so chooses. Almost every factual statement in the Report iscited to the testimony or to an exhibit in the record.In this Closing Argument, IBC submits his reasons for concluding that Thomas andAubuchon must be disbarred and Alexander must be suspended.
II.
 
OVERVIEW
The misconduct of the three lawyers in this proceeding arose out of disputes betweenThomas and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (“MCBOS” or “Board”) that began afterThomas became County Attorney in 2005. Thomas also had disputes with particular judges of theMaricopa County Superior Court that led to misconduct. Thomas and Aubuchon became obsessedwith pursuing particular individuals involved in these disputes through criminal investigations andthen a civil RICO action. Their obsession with Supervisor Donald Stapley, attorney Thomas Irvineand Judge Gary Donahoe caused multiple conflicts of interest, dishonesty in documents they filed incourt, and the filing of criminal charges without any evidence that a crime had been committed.Thomas and Aubuchon committed multiple serious violations of their obligations as lawyers,and they can no longer be permitted the privilege of practicing law.Alexander’s misconduct was not as serious, but still requires that her license to practice lawbe suspended. Alexander committed 6 violations of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, allrelated to the RICO action that was commenced in December 2009.Aubuchon committed 28 violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct including but notlimited to:
 
7 violations of the rule prohibiting conflicts of interest
 
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6 violations of the rule prohibiting the use of means to burden or embarrassanother
 
4 violations of the rule prohibiting conduct that prejudices the administrationof justice
 
3 violations of the rule prohibiting engaging in dishonesty
 
2 violations of the rule prohibiting engaging in criminal conductThomas committed 32 violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct including but notlimited to:
 
8 violations of the rule prohibiting conflicts of interest
 
6 violations of the rule prohibiting the use of means to burden or embarrassanother
 
2 violations of the rule prohibiting engaging in dishonesty
 
3 violations of the rule prohibiting conduct that prejudices the administrationof justice
 
2 violations of the rule prohibiting engaging in criminal conductHowever, the most serious misconduct that Thomas and Aubuchon committed was filingthree felony charges against Superior Court Presiding Criminal Judge Gary Donahoe with noevidence of any criminal activity. They did so to force his removal from a case he was handling.Thomas and Aubuchon’s misconduct in that matter was such a serious breach of their ethicalobligations that the only conclusion to be reached on that matter alone is disbarment pursuant toABA
Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions
§ 5.21 (disbarment appropriate when a government

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