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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 9017
Attorney Name Surrick, Robert B.
DBP Docket No. 101 DB 1994
Supreme Court Docket No. 383 D.D. No. 3
County Out of State
Disciplinary Counsel Samuel F. Napoli/Helen Kistler
Counsel for Respondent Samuel E. Klein
Decision Date 2000-03-24
Effective Date 2000-04-23
Case Digest The respondent-attorney was a losing party in a civil action, involving matters in which he was a surety on a debt. In filing an appeal to the Superior Court, Respondent also filed a Motion for Recusal of certain Superior Court judges. In that Motion for Recusal, he alleged, inter alia, that the trial judge had "fixed" the case against him. He also alleged that a Superior Court judge whose recusal from the appeal he was seeking had decided an earlier case to which Respondent was also a party against Respondent because of "outside intervention."
Rule Violation(s) 8.4(c)
Discipline Imposed Five-year suspension
Points of Law In matters alleging false statements by Respondent against judges in a Motion for Recusal, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel can meet its burden of presenting documentary evidence or testimony from persons at whom the allegations were aimed were false. The burden then shifts to the attorney to establish that the allegations are true, or that following a reasonably diligent inquiry, he had formed an objective reasonable belief that the allegations were true. The Court found that Respondent had recklessly made false statements against two judges that they had "fixed" cases against him.
Report/Opinion not available