Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Supreme Court suspends Burke, Chvala law licenses

The Supreme Court suspended the law licenses of former Dem state Sens. Brian Burke and Chuck Chvala through 2008, writing in one ruling that the punishment was warranted to send a message to other attorneys.

Burke and Chvala first had their licenses suspended in 2006 after the Office of Lawyer Regulation filed complaints against both men stemming from their convictions on misconduct charges in the "caucus scandal."

Chvala's two-year suspension is retroactive to April 10, 2006, when his license was first suspended. Chvala initially objected to OLR's request to suspend his license but later entered into a stipulation admitting to the misconduct and agreeing to a two-year suspension.

The court did not require Chvala to pay the costs of the proceedings because he entered into a "comprehensive stipulation" that avoided the need for a referee. He cannot get his license back until after he successfully petitions for reinstatement.

Burke's two-year suspension is retroactive to Jan. 3, 2006. He also was ordered to pay court costs of more than $11,000 within 60 days and to take 15 hours of legal education ethics credits.

See the Burke decision: http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.html?content=html&seqNo=28900
See the Chvala decision: http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.html?content=html&seqNo=28899

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