The Minnesota Supreme Court issued disciplinary orders against two attorneys this week.
While the orders are generally standardized and short, Justice David Lillehaug wrote a three-page dissent in the case of Brian Hardwick, saying he did not agree with staying Hardwick’s 60-day suspension. Justice Wilhelmina Wright joined his dissent.
Hardwick, of Warroad, Minn., had a stayed suspension of 60 days in North Dakota for misappropriating $1,671 in law-firm funds and failing to adequately communicate with a client. Minnesota’s Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a petition for a reciprocal disciplinary action.
Hardwick admitted to the misconduct. Lillehaug wrote that the court usually suspends or disbars attorneys for misappropriation, and a typical punishment is at least a 30-day suspension.
“Misappropriation of money from one’s firm is a serious offense,” he wrote. “There is a substantial difference between a stayed suspension and an actual suspension.”
The stayed suspension doesn’t fulfill the court’s responsibility to protect the public, the judicial system and to deter further misconduct, he wrote.
In the other case, Paul Rambow, of Minneapolis, was suspended indefinitely for professional misconduct. He can address possible reinstatement in a year.