A Brainerd attorney was suspended from practicing law in a disciplinary action approved by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
As of Feb. 15, attorney Kent Strunk was suspended from practicing law for a minimum of 90 days for professional misconduct. Strunk may petition for reinstatement after 60 days.
The suspension came after a petition for disciplinary action was filed by the director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.
On Oct. 5, 2007, the director filed a petition alleging Strunk committed "professional misconduct warranting public discipline, namely, failing to competently and diligently handle an appeal, failing to comply with the orders of the Minnesota Court of Appeals resulting in dismissal of the client's appeal, failing to keep the client informed of the status of the case, falsely telling the client the appeal was pending after it has been dismissed by the court of appeals, failing to promptly notify the client of the dismissal of the appeal" and making a false statement to the director.
Martin Cole, director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, St. Paul, said his office received a client complaint about Strunk and investigated it before a determination was made to seek public discipline.
According to the court order, both parties reached an agreement for disciplinary action. Strunk met with the director's office and admitted the allegations.
Strunk did not return calls for comment on Monday. This is the first time he's received a public discipline. Cole said on average 30 lawyers a year out of 20,000 are suspended or disbarred by the state of Minnesota.
To be reinstated, Strunk will have to go through a reinstatement hearing before a three-member panel, which will make a recommendation to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Cole said the majority of attorneys are reinstated although it is not automatic.
The director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility recommended the appropriate discipline would be an indefinite suspension for at least 90 days, with no right to petition for reinstatement for at least 60 days.
After an independent review, the Minnesota Supreme Court approved the recommendation. The court order, signed by Associate Justice Alan Page, reported reinstatement is "further conditioned upon successful completion of the professional responsibility portion of the state bar examination within one year of the date of filing of this order and satisfaction of continuing legal education requirements." Strunk was ordered to pay costs of $900.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.