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Lawyer disbarred for misuse of client funds

  • Article by: Jane Friedmann
  • June 28, 2010 - 11:23 PM

The Minnesota Supreme Court disbarred a lawyer who had used at least $750 in client funds to buy illegal drugs.

From March 2006 to January 2007, Juan Jesus Rodriguez worked for Centro Legal Inc., a St. Paul-based organization that provides low-cost legal services. Rodriguez told clients they owed more than their contracts stated and he diverted payments to himself. His license to practice law was suspended in 2008.

The order disbarring Rodriguez, an attorney since 1995, was signed by Justice Alan Page. Justice Paul Anderson wrote in a dissenting opinion that Rodriguez is a recovering addict who accepts responsibility for his actions. Anderson said indefinite suspension would have protected the public and might have given Rodriguez incentive to recover.

JANE FRIEDMANN

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